Chief Executive John Lee on Tuesday said Hong Kong is capable of handling its own national security trials, and cases would only be transferred across the border under specific circumstances.
A number of people have recently suggested that national security trials will have to be moved to the mainland if the US passes legislation imposing sanctions on more Hong Kong officials, including judges.
But before this week's Executive Council meeting, Lee said the SAR's courts are able to handle even the most high-profile security trials.
“At present I have every confidence that Hong Kong is capable of dealing with national security risks, including the ongoing high-profile cases, I have faith in our law enforcement agencies as well as our judicial system,” he said.
He noted that under Article 55 of the national security law, cases will only be transferred to the mainland if “the case is complex due to the involvement of a foreign country or external elements, thus making it difficult for the region to exercise jurisdiction over the case”, or “it’s a serious situation where the government is unable to effectively enforce this law”; or “when a major and imminent threat to national security has occurred”.
However, Lee warned that the SAR must guard against foreign interference in trials related to the protests of 2019.
“We strongly condemn these external forces, against any interference,” Lee said.