Teresa Cheng intervenes again to stop protest case - RTHK
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Teresa Cheng intervenes again to stop protest case

2020-08-20 HKT 18:41
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  • A letter from the Department of Justice says Teresa Cheng has 'intervened' to 'assume the conduct' of a private prosecution against a taxi driver accused of ramming protesters with his vehicle last October. File photo: RTHK
    A letter from the Department of Justice says Teresa Cheng has 'intervened' to 'assume the conduct' of a private prosecution against a taxi driver accused of ramming protesters with his vehicle last October. File photo: RTHK
Teresa Cheng has again exercised her authority as Secretary for Justice to take control of a private prosecution initiated by Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui – for the second time in three days.

This time, Cheng is intervening to start proceedings to halt a dangerous driving case against a taxi driver accused of ramming protesters with his vehicle in Sham Shui Po last October during a rally against the government’s ban on face masks.

This comes just two days after Cheng intervened in a separate case also initiated by Hui – to get the ball rolling on ending the private prosecution against a police officer who shot a student in the abdomen with live ammunition in Sai Wan Ho last year.

Magistrates from two different courts had in June decided to issue summons for the two accused to face the charges against them, only for the justice secretary to step in.

In the latest case, in a letter released by the Democratic Party but addressed to the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court, the prosecution said “By way of a Notice of intervention of the Secretary for Justice (SJ)… the SJ has intervened and assumed the conduct” of the proceedings.”

It also asked the court to arrange a short hearing next week “for the prosecution to withdraw the summons”, adding that the presence of the defendant is not required.

Hui has said the extremely rare intervention undermines the rule of law, saying this has now been replaced by the rule of man.

He also said the decision was politically motivated, noting that Cheng had not given any reasons for withdrawing the charges.

Several people were injured after they were apparently struck by the taxi last year, including a woman who had her legs broken. The driver was subsequently dragged out of his vehicle and beaten up.