I've never had interference by Beijing:chief justice - RTHK
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I've never had interference by Beijing:chief justice

2020-04-15 HKT 18:45
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  • A statement says the chief justice has not, at any stage, encountered any form of interference by mainland authorities. File photo: Reuters
    A statement says the chief justice has not, at any stage, encountered any form of interference by mainland authorities. File photo: Reuters
Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma issued a statement on Wednesday saying he had never experienced any kind of interference by Beijing.

The statement came in response to a Reuters news report which cited "people close to Ma" as saying he is forced to contend with Communist Party officials pushing Beijing's view that Hong Kong's rule of law is just a tool to preserve one-party rule.

"Since taking office in 2010, the chief justice has not at any stage encountered or experienced any form of interference by the mainland authorities with judicial independence in Hong Kong, including the appointment of judges," Ma's statement issued through the government said.

"Judicial independence is guaranteed under the Basic Law and is a main component of the rule of law in Hong Kong," it added.

Tuesday's report said a judiciary spokeswoman had told Reuters that Ma would not be offering any comment on its news story.

The agency quoted several unnamed friends and former colleagues of Ma as saying he had been showing signs of strain from his job as the city's top judge, including due to "having to continually defend the integrity of the courts".

The report said Ma "tires of the apparatchiks whose Communist Party mantra has no room for even starting to grasp the separation of powers that exists in Hong Kong", with mainland judges and officials constantly stressing the importance of Hong Kong's judiciary in defending China's sovereignty and national security.

Ma is due to step down as chief justice on January 11 next year when he turns 65, and is to be replaced by judge Andrew Cheung.