Democratic Party Chairman Wu Chi-wai has said that his party helped its member Howard Lam, who claimed he was abducted and assaulted by mainland agents, on the basis of the information he provided.

The party’s former lawmakers Albert Ho and Martin Lee, as well as incumbent lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting, helped Lam organise a press conference last Friday, where he told reporters about his alleged ordeal and showed them his injuries, namely 21 staples embedded in his thighs.

But Lam was arrested by the police for allegedly providing false information in the early hours of Tuesday and detained overnight. The arrest came following a report from investigative news wire Factwire which included multiple CCTV clips apparently contradicting Lam’s version of events.

Wu Chi-wai. screenshot.

The party’s central committee had a meeting on Tuesday morning over Howard Lam’s arrest.

Wu, a lawmaker, said he hoped the police would complete the investigation as soon as possible and reveal the truth.

“Lam should be given the legal rights that he has under the law,” he said. “When there is a conclusion to the incident, the Democratic Party will respond to the public in a serious manner.”

Howard Lam. File

“There are limitations, objectively, in the information we have – the press conference that Albert Ho, Martin Lee, Lam Cheuk-ting hosted at first was based on the information Howard Lam revealed as a party member,” Wu said.

Asked if the party made a rush to judgement in helping Lam, Wu said: “On that day, they truly believed and accepted what Howard Lam said. They saw the injuries, they made a judgement on the basis of protecting Lam’s personal safety.”

Wu said the party did not have any new information other than what had been revealed by media or police.

Secretary for Security John Lee told reporters that police have taken a lot of action upon receiving the report from Lam.

“At this stage, I think we should give time to police so that they can conduct fair and thorough investigation,” he said.

He said the incident apparently occurred in Hong Kong and not on the mainland, when asked about if it was related to the controversial Express Rail joint checkpoint arrangement, which the government is promoting. Mainland agents will be allowed to enforce law in a special area of the West Kowloon terminus leased to the mainland when the terminal opens.

“As of now, I don’t see any relationship with the joint checkpoint arrangement,” Lee said.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.