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羅彰南疑收恐嚇訊息 為安全突退選律師會


律師會內開明派支持的候選人羅彰南(Jonathan Ross)發表聲明,宣布基於個人及家人安全,退出律師會選舉、放棄爭取連任。據悉,有候選人疑似收到恐嚇訊息,並提及家人;法律界消息傳出,近期有人招攬調查員調查部分律師會的候選人。

羅彰南在聲明中強調,不論誰最後勝出選舉,律師會都會一如以往繼續擔當專業組織,不明白某些派別人士懼怕他們參選。羅彰南形容:「一個我們敬重的機構的理事會選舉沉淪到至此,是香港羞恥和傷感的一日。」

他又呼籲,未投票的會員下周二傍晚6時15分到會展出席律師會員大會,在自由和開放的選舉中投給他們所選的候選人。律師會暫未回應,而同樣被親中報章追擊的另一名候選人馬秀雯(Selma Masood)則說尊重羅彰南決定,並促請會員親身到場投票。

Jonathan Ross。網上圖片

彭韻僖:會方已就事件報警

律師會會長彭韻僖書面回應事件稱,該會認真看待恐嚇指控,已就事件向警方報案,並建議候選人亦向警方報案。

至於羅彰南宣布退選,彭說由於律師會的章程細則沒有任何退選機制,候選人表示有意退出選舉並不影響選舉程序。候選人當選後可選擇辭職,律師會理事會有權透過增補理事填補空缺。

北京及親建制陣營高調評論律師會換屆選舉,但其實即使開明派支持的4人勝出,在律師會理事會中都只打和。羅彰南宣布退選令選舉在最後兩日添上變數,據了解律師會運作的兩個法律界消息指,技術上律師會選舉並無退選機制,故如果羅彰南繼續當選則可能之後辭職,再由理事會處理空缺問題。

羅彰南在周六(21日)發表聲明中第一段就說,「為了我和我家人的安全」,宣布計劃退選,但呼籲未投票會員繼續到場投票。

他又強調,退選與早前有報章指他在隨律師會訪京時(2018年),與內地最高人民法院法官討論其公司有份參與的案件無關。他指出,當時在午餐時,與法官高曉力討論了公司涉及的案件等了一年才進行審訊,五分鐘相關討論並無涉及案件內容,做法完全恰當。他又透露,2019年後曾經有人向律師會投訴,但調查後並無發現不當行為。

羅彰南是資深律師,1991年在美國執業,1998年取得香港執業資格,現在在一家跨國製造企業擔任法律顧問,早年曾經在中國銀行擔任過法律顧問。

羅彰南的英文聲明,全文如下:

1. For my safety, and the safety of my family, I am announcing my intention to withdraw my name as a candidate for re-election to the Council of the Law Society of Hong Kong.

2. I urge all members of the Law Society who have not yet voted to attend the AGM at the Convention Centre beginning at 6:15pm on Tuesday and vote for the candidates of their choice in a free and open election.

3. My withdrawal is not related to certain allegations that have been publicized in the press concerning a five minute conversation I had in a public setting with a PRC Supreme Court judge.  During a lunch I mentioned to Judge Gao Xiaoli (高晓力) that a case in which my company was involved as plaintiff had waited over a year before coming to trial.  That was the end of the conversation and no details were given about the case.  It was totally appropriate.  Nevertheless, for unknown reasons, a complaint was filed with the Law Society in 2019.  It was thoroughly investigated by the Society and of course no impropriety was found.

4. Whoever wins the election, I am sure that the Society will continue working as the professional body it has always been.  I fail to understand the level of fear that our candidacies have engendered in certain quarters.

5. It is a shameful and sad day for Hong Kong that an election for Council of our honorable institution has sunk to this level.

6. Being on Council has meant a huge investment in time and effort to prepare for and attend so many meetings.  I look forward to an easier life in future.  We must thank all those on Council for the contributions they make. 

7. Enquiries from the media will be entertained after the results of the election are announced.
 
Jonathan Ross
August 21, 2021