The Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) has sent questionnaires to its members in the hope of finding the source who leaked information to the media about the case of a retired police officer, according to Ming Pao.
Information concerning the investigation of the complaint against now-retired police officer Frankly Chu King-wai was leaked to several media outlets, namely Ming Pao, Apple Daily, TVB and RTHK, in July last year. Chu was accused of beating pedestrians with his baton during the pro-democracy occupy protests in 2014.
A spokesperson for the council told Ming Pao that the leak may affect the public’s views on the case, harm the IPCC’s independence and damage its just and trustworthy image. They said it may affect both the complainant and the subject of the complaint. A five-member special committee was formed last year to look into the leak.
The IPCC confirmed to the newspaper that it has sent 84 copies of a questionnaire with 13 questions to council members and staff who have served with the police watchdog since last year, asking whether they have sent classified information to the media, and whether they know if anyone else has.
The questionnaire is to be completed in a voluntary basis.
The complainant, Osman Cheng Chung-hang, told Ming Pao that white terror should not be created using the excuse that the information leaked was classified. He said that the IPCC should review its classification system and consider how it can balance it with the public interest.
Sham Yee-lan, chairperson of the Hong Kong Journalist Association, told the newspaper that the IPCC has the right to investigate the leak, but its action in sending out the questionnaires was silly, as it is unlikely anyone would admit to leaking information.