Dozens of reporters were left in the lurch after a former triad kingpin cancelled a press conference at the last minute, leaving questions about his reported attack by suspected gambling rivals unanswered for now.
Kwok Wing-hung had called the media briefing for 1 p.m. Tuesday to answer questions about the Dec. 20 attack in the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel.
Kwok was also expected to respond to speculation about gambling debts which reportedly forced him to quit his Macau casino business, Ming Pao Daily reports.
Security was tight around the Wan Chai venue of the press conference with more than 100 journalists on hand, just days after the Peninsula incident.
On Monday, Apple Daily reported that Kwok was having tea in the Peninsula lobby when a man slipped past four bodyguards and attacked him with a knife.
Kwok suffered a cut eyelid, the report said.
Police identified him from surveillance camera footage of the incident and later interviewed him from his hospital bed, it said.
The next day, he emerged from the hospital and denied the attack, saying he had suffered a cut to his right eyelid after he accidentally hit his head on a table.
A spokesman from a public relations agency representing Kwok told reporters he had decided to cancel, just 10 minutes before the start of the event.
The spokesman quoted Kwok as saying “something has come up” and a press release will be issued.
Asked about Kwok’s condition, the spokesman said he is “free and in good health”.
Ben Lam, who organized the press event, said he believes Kwok is in Hong Kong and that he has not heard of anything to suggest he left.
Lam said he would have to get Kwok’s consent before a press release can be issued.
He refused to disclose the content of two letters from attorneys, which were hand-delivered to him 30 minutes before the press conference was to start.
Lam later said he was not the recipient of the letters but would not reveal the sender and addressee anyhow.
Meanwhile, Apple Daily is reporting that a Kwok lieutenant was injured in an attack by five masked men in Wong Tai Sin hours after Kwok announced he would hold a press conference on Monday.
Other reports said Kwok has left Hong Kong but Apple Daily quoted a source as saying Kwok is in town and that he called off the press event after being contacted by mainland authorities.
In 2012, Kwok reportedly attended a dinner for members of the campaign office of Leung Chun-ying, who was seeking to become Hong Kong chief executive at the time, and some election committee members representing the New Territories district.
Leung denied the report and said he does not know Kwok.
Heavily guarded ex-triad boss injured in Peninsula knife attack (Dec. 21, 2015)
Ex-triad leader walks out of hospital, says no knife attack (Dec. 22, 2015)
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