A legal academic and former member of the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) said on Friday that the decision of the watchdog to withhold its interim report on Hong Kong's unrest was strange, being as no injunction order has been issued against its publication.
The IPCC said on Thursday that it will not release the interim report as the High Court has allowed a judicial review filed by an activist who questions whether the watchdog has the power to conduct such a study.
HKU law professor Eric Cheung, who was once a member of the watchdog, questioned whether the IPCC's delay in releasing the report is necessary, since the court hasn't issued any injunction order, and the report does not directly comment on the judicial review.
But talking to the media on Friday, IPCC vice-chairman Tony Tse sought to justify the watchdog's decision. He said the judicial review could have "far reaching implications" and they had therefore decided to wait for its outcome.
He said the council will decide on the publication date of the report only after the court arrives at a decision on the judicial review.
Asked about a timeframe for this, Tse said when the court will rule depends on a lot of factors like the applicant’s cooperation and his agreement on the hearing dates. The IPCC wants the case to be heard as soon as possible, Tse said.
Meanwhile another former IPCC member, Edwin Cheng, also said that the decision to postpone the publication of the report was unnecessary. He told RTHK's Janice Wong that if there is a problem, the police watchdog can simply release part of the report first and the rest later.