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Thursday, Apr 25, 2024

Scholar off CY legal hook in out-of-court deal

Scholar off CY legal hook in out-of-court deal

A high court judge yesterday granted a stay of proceedings on a defamation lawsuit that ex-chief executive Leung Chun-ying filed against former scholar Chung Kim-wah and the defunct pro-democracy online media Stand News.
Chung, an assistant professor of applied social sciences at Polytechnic University at the time, published an article on August 11, 2018, alleging Leung had links to a triad, which was uploaded to the Stand News portal the following day.

The article mentioned a dinner at a Lau Fau Shan restaurant in February 2012 between Leung's aides and people presumed to be related to triads, and alleged triad members attacking anti-Leung protesters in Tin Shui Wai in 2013.

Leung filed for defamation against the academic and Best Pencil (Hong Kong), the operator of the now-closed media outlet in late August of 2018.

The case was originally scheduled for a 15-day trial starting from August 7 this year.

But in a Facebook post last week, Chung admitted that the article mentioning Leung was a triad member or had links with the triad could mislead readers.

Chung said he had retracted the article and had paid HK$100,000 to Leung as an out-of-court settlement.

He added that Leung has accepted his clarification and agreed to drop the civil action.

Subsequently, Leung acknowledged on his Facebook page, and said his lawyer confirmed receipt of Chung's settlement.

In the hearing, judge Queeny Au-Yeung Kwai-yue said the case should be permanently terminated.

Au-yeung said Chung and Leung have reached a settlement, and Stand News had no legal representation since the middle of last year.

She added that one of the directors Chung Pui-kuen resigned in 2021, and its cofounder, Tony Tsoi Tung-ho, had left the city.

Taking into account these factors, Au-Yeung granted a permanent stay of proceedings, while making no legal costs orders.

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