Senior counsel Ronny Tong led the criticisms against legislator and solicitor Junius Ho over his apparent call to kill anyone who attempts to separate Hong Kong from the mainland.
Tong, an executive councillor and a barrister, said Ho may have committed a crime with his call while 22 pan-democratic lawmakers in a joint statement asked the police to take action against the pro-Beijing legislator.
Speaking to reporters during a mass rally demanding the University of Hong Kong sack Occupy Movement leader Benny Tai on Sunday, Ho asked "if [independence-seekers] are not killed, what else are we to do?"
Asked if this amounts to criminal intimidation, Ho responded by saying that it’s “not a crime to slaughter pigs or dogs”, and warned the journalists not to take his comments out of context.
He further explained that “people who act to promote independence subvert the fate of the entire country, and force all Hongkongers and the 1.3-billion people of China to pay a huge cost.”
Earlier, addressing thousands of protesters on stage, Yuen Long district councillor Tsang Shu-wo repeatedly asked the crowd "if people [claim to be] not Chinese and seek Hong Kong independence; aren't they outsiders who should be killed?"
Ho then responded by saying, “no mercy”.
On Monday, Tong said Ho may have violated two clauses of the public order ordinance.
Tong told a radio programme that sections 26 and 17(b) of that law prohibit proposing violence at public gatherings, and using abusive or insulting words in public with intent to provoke a breach of the peace.
Tong said even if Ho had been speaking figuratively – that independence advocates should be removed from their positions in society rather than outright death – the comments may still be criminal.
He called on Ho, who's a solicitor, to watch his conduct. Tong also appealed to everyone to stop encouraging violence and insults, saying that's not acceptable in any civilised society.
Legal scholar Tai, who was the target of Sunday's rally also urged the police to take action against Ho's words.
The Secretary for Justice, Rimsky Yuen said on Monday whether Ho's remarks were criminal depends on the overall meaning and background of the comments. Yuen said people can't just focus on one or two words.
If anyone thinks that more needs to be done about the matter, the Secretary said they could file reports through the established procedures.
Last updated: 2017-09-18 HKT 17:51