Home > HK
Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 09:06

Bailiffs to execute injunction order at CITIC Tower

By Kahon Chan and Shadow Li in Hong Kong
Bailiffs to execute injunction order at CITIC Tower
People walk past the building logo of Citic Tower at Admiralty on Nov12, 2014. (Roy Liu / China Daily)

Police say court bailiffs are set to execute injunction order against illegal blockades outside CITIC Tower in Admiralty today (Tuesday).

This is after former chief justice Andrew Li Kwok-nang urged protesters to respect court orders and withdraw.

The High Court granted interim injunctions against illegal occupations outside the CITIC Tower at Admiralty and various locations in Mong Kok in late October. As the injunctions were extended a week ago, the court gave explicit instructions about the role of police.

On Monday, the police said in a statement they were ready to “give full support” to the bailiffs to execute the court order. This was after an exchange with the bailiffs and CITIC Tower co-owners — who initiated the order.

The police emphasized that any act amounting to obstruction might make a person liable to criminal contempt of court. Police officers will take “resolute action” against anyone who obstructs or violently defies execution of the order.

The court, in the extended injunctions, instructs police officers to bring those suspected of criminal contempt before the court as soon as possible. The government lawyer had also advised the court at a hearing last Thursday that people who have been arrested could be charged with other offenses.

Andrew Li, at the sidelines of a rare public appearance on Monday, offered support to the court for their mention of police assistance in the orders — the police is, in fact, always empowered by the law to act on offenses, such as criminal contempt of court.

“It is the law. It’s very clear. Even the judge made no mention of it, it is what it is. But, at this juncture of controversy, I think it helps when the judge makes it clear,” said Li.

Before taking reporters’ questions, he raised concerns about the apparent lack of respect for the court orders from protesters.

“My concern is that if it is done in such a way, including disobedience of court injunctions, this would have adverse effect on the rule of law, which is a cornerstone of Hong Kong under ‘One Country, Two Systems’.

“It is a pillar of Hong Kong. And we must never allow this pillar to be shaken,” he said.

It must be recognized, he added, that “the scale and length of the protests” also attributed to the undermining of the rule of law. He pled for an end to the occupations: “Everyone understands the students’ aspirations. For the time being, they should withdraw.”

Orders against protest hotspots in Mong Kok, though extended a week ago, were yet to be published in newspapers. The High Court on Monday also hears another injunction attempt against occupation of parts of thoroughfares between Central and Admiralty.

The claim was sought by two transportation companies — tour bus operator Kwoon Chung Motors Co Ltd and All China Express Ltd, which runs scheduled shuttles between the city and the Huanggang Port Control Point of Shenzhen.

The latter claimed a financial loss of more than HK$690,000 owing to the barricading of Harcourt Road and Connaught Road Central between Central and Admiralty.

Warren Chan, representing the plaintiffs, blasted defendant Kwok Cheuk-kin for being “ridiculous”, as the latter argued losses experienced by the coach operator were no big deal compared to the sufferings of others. The barrister said the occupiers had abused legal aid.

The judge, after hearing arguments from both sides, promised to hand down a written judgment as soon as possible, though no specific time was given.

Contact the writers at kahon@chinadailyhk.comand,

Latest News