SCMP Thursday, September 7, 2000


DONS' DOWNFALL

Tung aide points to 'defects' in report

SUBMISSION by ANGELA LI

There were "substantial procedural defects" in the panel's report, according to a written submission by Andrew Lo.
In a three-page submission prepared by solicitors' firm Fred Kan & Co, Mr Lo's lawyers highlighted the fact that he was not a member of the university. The lawyers said Mr Lo "reserved all rights in respect" of these "defects".
It was also submitted that the panel's conclusion was "unsupported by evidence".
In the 74-page panel report, Mr Lo was described as a "poor and untruthful" witness. It said: "We are sure that as a result of the conversation between [Andrew] Lo and the vice-chancellor on January 6, 1999, [pro-vice-chancellor] Professor S. L. Wong, acting at the behest of the vice-chancellor, conveyed a message to Dr [Robert] Chung on January 29, 1999, which was calculated to inhibit his right to academic freedom."
According to a council member, at no time did university council chairman Yang Ti Lang refer members to the document at yesterday's meeting. Most council members contacted by the Post seemed not to have had a chance to read the submission.
Professor Johannes Chan Man-man, acting dean of the university's law faculty, said the submission had come despite Chief Secretary for Administration Anson Chan Fang On-sang's pledge last Saturday that the Gov ernment would not interfere, whatever the council's decision.
Mr Chan said Mr Lo could apply for a judicial review if he contested the contents of the report. He urged the new legislature to use the report as a basis to explore follow-up action, including whether it was necessary to set up a select committee inquiry.