Former police commissioner Andy Tsang, who led the force during the Occupy protests in 2014, says the sentences given to eight leaders of the movement on Wednesday should help the public understand that politics cannot be above the law.
In a text message to RTHK, he said civil disobedience is totally against the spirit of the rule of law.
Tsang said the illegal street occupations had caused "extremely serious damage" to the rule of law, social order and public safety.
He also complained that the protests had given people the impression that they didn't need to abide by the law.
The former police chief refused to comment, however, on whether he thinks the sentences passed will have a deterrent effect, or whether be believes they are proportionate to the public nuisance offences committed.
Tsang was accused of taking a "hardline approach" during the pro-democracy sit-in protests, defending officers found guilty of attacking demonstrators as well as the use of tear gas against protesters in Admiralty at the beginning of the street occupations.
Since his retirement, he has been made a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and was recently appointed a vice-commissioner of the mainland’s National Narcotics Control Commission.
'Public must know politics can't be above the law'
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