【明報專訊】THE MAINLAND AUTHORITIES have handed two suspects in the knife attack on Kevin Lau over to the Hong Kong police. Progress has been made in the investigation into the case. However, the person or persons who procured the attack remains or remain at large. The case remains unsolved though some have been arrested in connection with it.
The indications are that the police have little information on the motive for the attack or the person or persons who procured it. This being the case, it is baffling for Commissioner of Police Andy Tsang to have tried to play down the possibility of the case having to do with journalism.
No sooner had the two suspects been taken into custody than Mr Tsang exceptionally held a press conference to announce their arrest. At that press conference, he said little about the facts of the case, but he declared, "There is no direct evidence that the case has to do with journalism." He said that five times. Clearly, he had planned in advance to make that remark on that occasion. Were the case in no way connected with journalism, it would not be worth much public attention. He has yet to explain why he has said there is no evidence that the case has to do with journalism though little is known about it. Many have urged him to clarify what his remark means, but he is irresponsive to such demands. After the two suspects had been handed over, the police said in a statement nothing in what they had got hold of pointed to any connection between the case and journalism.
At a meeting of the Legislative Council security panel held yesterday (March 18), Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said when he answered questions put to him by legislators, "The police are gathering evidence and making a thorough, omni-directional probe, and they will not exclude any possible motive for the attack or rule out the possibility of the case having to do with journalism." He did by doing so correct Mr Tsang. That is why some legislators read what he said as a slap in the face to the Commissioner of Police.
The case is of such a nature that it is not right for the police to assert at this stage it has something to do or nothing to do with such-and-such a motive. A veteran criminal investigator, Mr Tsang ought to realise the police's perception of a case affects the way officers direct their efforts in investigating it. The police's statement is in line with Mr Tsang's remark. If that is indicative of the police's perception of the case, one may question whether officers investigating it have rightly directed their efforts.
Mr Lau has given the police a signed statement that says he has no problems related to any debt or love affair, he had done nothing that may have earned him another's enmity, and he believes the attack on him has to do with his journalistic work. It is the only sensible inference from such factors as Mr Lau's job, connections and relationship with his family that the attack on him has to do with journalism. Mr Tsang's remark and the police's statement are neither well thought out nor well founded. They must retract their remarks about journalism unless they have cogent evidence in support of them.
The first thing the police must do in relation to the case is to put their perception of it to rights. Mr Tsang ought to take the lead. The police should put much store by the possibility of the case having to do with journalism. Only if they rightly direct their efforts in their investigation will there be any hope of solving it.