Leung denies secret talks to oust police chief

October 08, 2014 19:23
Police chief Andy Tsang was never marked for sacking in the aftermath of the violent crackdown on student protesters last week, according to a government statement. Photo: HKEJ

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said he never considered sacking police chief Andy Tsang in the aftermath of last week's violent crackdown on student protesters.

Leung denied any plans to make Tsang a scapegoat to mitigate a fierce public backlash over harsh police tactics against the protesters, calling media reports "fabricated and unfounded".

In a statement Wednesday, Leung said the government and the police "are serving with one heart to govern in accordance with the law and to enforce the law with impartiality".

"Right now, Hong Kong is facing the challenges posed by the Occupy Central movement.”

Earlier, Apple Daily reported that Leung had privately discussed Tsang's firing with close aides including Executive Councilor Cheung Chi-kong, Security Bureau Undersecretary John Lee Ka-chiu, Central Policy Unit head Shiu Sin-por and a pro-Beijing government policy consultant.

Leung wanted to shift the blame to Tsang to counter public outcry but became concerned any such move would deal a blow to police morale, the report said.

Also, senior Beijing officials consulted pro-democrats over a potential solution including asking Chief Secretary Carrie Lam or Tsang to step down, the report said.

The officials wanted to tackle the crisis without ousting Leung or backing down from a proposed election framework for the 2017 chief executive election which is at the heart of the ongoing democracy protest, it said.

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Freelance journalist