Saturday, May 25, 2013, 09:26
ICAC infiltrated by British intelligence: Magazine
By China Daily in Hong Kong

Citing sources and a “study”, Yazhou Zhoukan correspondent Simon Kei wrote on Friday that senior management of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has been infiltrated by British intelligence.

Kei said the current affairs magazine recently received a “secret study” conducted by an unidentified research institute in Beijing, which he said has “unveiled” the suspicion that the ICAC has been infiltrated by the British to take action against local politicians.

Such action is characterized by the leak of materials to the media at critical moments, which is evident in the recent scandal involving former ICAC commissioner Timothy Tong Hin-ming and the misconduct case of former secretary for development Mak Chai-kwong.

Mak’s integrity, for instance, had never been questioned in five checks before retirement. The sudden leak of Mak’s involvement in a rental scam, the report suggested, can be linked to “secret files” kept by the police’s Special Branch during British rule.

The report described the ICAC as the most powerful law enforcement agency with the most unique nature of work, but said neither the commissioner or the Chief Executive have had meaningful influence on the day to day operations.

The report noted that ICAC senior management is largely inherited from the colonial era, and is skeptical towards their “genuine identities”. But the report said an “essential and appropriate clean-up” has never happened at the ICAC since the handover in a transparent manner.

As the ICAC is supervised by several committees, the report also described these members to be “pro-British”, such as Michael Sze Cho-cheung, who now heads the ICAC Operations Review Committee and was secretary to former governor Chris Patten.

The report feared the ICAC may eventually take aim at central government agencies in Hong Kong, such as the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

The report also accused the commission of double standards as it appears to the researchers that opposition politicians have been given favorable treatment over the years. Pro-establishment politicians, however, have been hounded with “all kinds of special tactics”.

Despite that, the article also pointed out the ICAC has made concrete efforts in cross-border operations over the years, especially with prosecutors in Guangdong province.

Kei’s article also cited various sources, but few were identified. Alex Tsui Ka-kit, a former investigator who left the ICAC before the handover, agreed with the presence of such outside influence, because the closer ties between Hong Kong and the mainland seemed a threat to these foreign regimes.

As colonial flags have been waved in local rallies, Kei wrote that the central government is now “tolerating” the situation, but is highly alert to the “dangerous trend”.