Lawmaker Junius Ho has said that he used the wrong words when he made remarks about independence advocates being killed “without mercy” at a rally two weekends ago.

At an anti-independence rally on September 17, rural leader Tsang Shu-wo said onstage that pro-independence activists should be “killed.” Ho supported him, shouting “without mercy” into his microphone.

On TVB programme Straight Talk, scheduled to be aired Tuesday night, Ho said that the word “kill” was spoken by Tsang, and Ho “went along with it because I knew full well that it was not Tsang’s intention to agitate people.” Ho said it was “a wrong choice of words” that came out in the heat of the moment, according to The Standard.

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Junius Ho with Straight Talk host Michael Chugani. Photo: Facebook/Junius Ho.

Ho’s comments on “killing” independence advocates were met with condemnation from several quarters, with police investigating the case.

He previously defended his statement on the radio, saying: “If those who are pro-independence lead to the subversion of the fate of the country… why shouldn’t these people be killed?”

Ho later took a different tack to defend himself in a Facebook post last week, claiming that the rural leader uttered the word “to stop” instead of “to kill,” which sound the same in Chinese. He also claimed that the word “kill” has multiple meanings and may not be advocating actual murder.

On Monday, Ho posted a photo of himself with Straight Talk host Michael Chugani on Facebook, saying that he would tell the whole story of the “kill without mercy” comments on Tuesday’s program.

“The latest round of comments attacking me were purely made to shift focus away,” he wrote.

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“Qualification” was added after “practising member” in Junius Ho’s company biography. Photo: Screenshot.

He also apologised for causing any misunderstanding over a “typo” in his Chinese-language company bio that led to questions over his solicitor qualifications last week. The webpage, which has since been updated, stated that he was a “practising member” in Singapore, England and Wales, but it was later revealed that he did not hold practising certificates in the listed jurisdictions.

In a segment of the interview published by TVB, Ho said something was “lost in translation.”

He said: “I took the opportunity to correct them, just for avoidance of further protraction of this argument subsequently. So if there should be any misunderstanding caused to any individual I hereby, you know, apologise.”

On Monday, the NeoDemocrats reported the case to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). The party claimed that Ho had made false statements on the Legislative Council website and on his election pamphlets by saying that he was a practising lawyer in Singapore and England. They said that Ho’s actions violated article 26 of the Elections Ordinance, and asked the ICAC to investigate.

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.