The Department of Justice has denied a report that Hong Kong’s Secretary for Justice wished to resign from her position and remain in the UK last month.

Cheng returned to Hong Kong last Tuesday, more than two weeks after she was injured during a protest in London. She said the Chinese Embassy in the British capital arranged for her to fly to Beijing for further check-ups and treatment, before her return to Hong Kong.

But a report carried by the Financial Times last Friday cited three anonymous sources as saying that Cheng “had wanted to remain [in London] and resign from her government post until she was ordered home by Beijing.”

Teresa Cheng and Liu Xiaoming at the Chinese Embassy in London. Photo: Chinese Embassy in UK.

In response, the Department of Justice repeated Cheng’s claim and denied the report: “The secretary did not ask to resign as reported. The relevant report was completely groundless.”

Firm investigated 

After Cheng arrived in Hong Kong, Analogue Holdings – an engineering company founded by Cheng’s husband Otto Poon – announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary was under investigation.

Analogue Holdings, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, said in an announcement last Thursday that Competition Commission officers visited the offices of ATAL Building Services Engineering the day before.

The officers had two search warrants for the purpose of investigating ATAL under the suspicion that it had violated the Competition Ordinance in its past dealings.

Otto Poon. File photo: Citizen News.

In response, the Department of Justice said Cheng did not own any beneficial interests in the company and did not participate in its operations. It said it was not appropriate for Cheng to make any comments as the case was being investigated by the Competition Commission.

Cheng is among the local officials with the lowest ratings following months of large-scale protests in Hong Kong. Initially against the now-withdrawn extradition bill, protesters are now focussed on wider demands including universal suffrage and an independent investigation of the police force.

In April, a Hong Kong court convicted Otto Poon for building an unauthorised pool at his Tuen Mun residence. He was fined HK$20,000.

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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.