【律師會改選】開明派羅彰南退選 稱考慮個人及家人安全 「香港可恥的一天」

香港律師會下周二(24 日)改選其中五個理事席位,周末便是郵寄票和授權票遞交期限,選舉結果會否左右「開明派」與「建制派」的勢力成外界焦點。競逐連任的「開明派」候選人羅彰南(Jonathan Ross)近日被建制組織「翻舊帳」,香港政研會指控他 2018 年曾私下向最高人民法院副院長了解案件,涉嫌妨礙司法公正。羅彰南今日(21 日)宣佈退選,稱是考慮到個人及家人的安全,聲明說:「我們這個尊貴機構的選舉落得如此水平,是香港可恥和悲傷的一天。」

羅彰南︰無法理解參選在某些範疇引起的恐慌

羅彰南今日向傳媒發放退選聲明,表示考慮到個人及家人的安全,決定退選。他同時呼籲所有未投票的律師會會員,参加星期二傍晚 6 時 15 分開始的會員大會,在一個「自由及公開」的選舉下,為心儀候選人投票。

聲明中提及,他的退選與近日經媒體公開的指控無關。羅彰南表示,指控內容涉及他曾在一個公開場合與最高人民法院的法官有五分鐘對話,他解釋,在一次午飯中,曾向法官高曉力提到自己在內地一宗案件代表原告,等候逾年仍未審訊,過程中沒有提及案件細節,強調是「完全適當」(totally appropriate)的。

他指,不知為何,事件在 2019 年被人向律師會提出投訴,律師會其後已徹底調查事件,結論是並無不妥當。

羅彰南在聲明中表示,無論誰贏得選舉,相信律師會將一如以往,繼續作為專業團體運作。他指,無法理解他們的參選在某些範疇引起的恐慌(I fail to understand the level of fear that our candidacies have engendered in certain quarters.),形容律師會的選舉落得如此水平是「香港可恥和悲傷的一天」。

林鄭點名警告律師會 若「政治凌駕專業」或中止合作

內地官媒、律政司司長鄭若驊,以至行政長官林鄭月娥連月輪流開腔警告律師會不能「凌駕專業」。林鄭周二(17 日)出席行會前,主動提及改選在即的香港律師會,聲言香港律師會若被政治凌駕其法律專業的話,特區政府會考慮與其終止關係,亦會重新審視律司會目前在法例下的人事推薦權。(另見報道)

香港政研會昨(20日)到政府總部門外抗議,指羅彰南 2018 年以香港律師會訪京團身份,向最高人民法院副院長私下了解一宗與其有利益關係的案件,有干擾司法公正之嫌,要求香港律師會嚴查,並向公眾交待會否內部紀律處分;政研會又質疑,羅彰南 2019 年曾公開發表聯署聲明反對人大 DQ 4 名立法會議員的決定,擔心其政治傾向影響律師會政治化。

馬秀雯︰繼續專注参 韋恒理︰監察選舉是否自由公平

另一位開明派參選人馬秀雯(Selma Masood)其後在 FB 回應指,尊重羅彰南的決定,並祝願他安好。馬秀雯表示會繼續專注在参選上,呼籲所有會員參與投票。現任「開明派」理事林洋鋐、彭皓昕亦轉發馬秀雯 FB 貼文,同指尊重羅彰南退選決定。

另一名被視為開明派候選人的韋恒理(Henry Wheare)回覆《立場》指,並不清楚羅彰南退選的真正原因,他沒有個人理由去退出,會繼續監察這是否一個自由和公平的選舉。他又表示,假如當選,希望能夠採取保障措施,阻止針對部分候選人的欺凌和威脅,亦希望律師會譴責那些在競選中「玩弄政治」(playing politics)的人。

《立場》已就事件向律師會查詢,正候回覆。

羅彰南退選聲明全文︰

  1. For my safety, and the safety of my family, I am announcing my intention to withdraw my name as a candidate for re-election to the Council of the Law Society of Hong Kong.
  2. I urge all members of the Law Society who have not yet voted to attend the AGM at the Convention Centre beginning at 6:15pm on Tuesday and vote for the candidates of their choice in a free and open election.
  3. My withdrawal is not related to certain allegations that have been publicized in the press concerning a five minute conversation I had in a public setting with a PRC Supreme Court judge.  During a lunch I mentioned to Judge Gao Xiaoli (高晓力) that a case in which my company was involved as plaintiff had waited over a year before coming to trial.  That was the end of the conversation and no details were given about the case.  It was totally appropriate.  Nevertheless, for unknown reasons, a complaint was filed with the Law Society in 2019.  It was thoroughly investigated by the Society and of course no impropriety was found.
  4. Whoever wins the election, I am sure that the Society will continue working as the professional body it has always been.  I fail to understand the level of fear that our candidacies have engendered in certain quarters.
  5. It is a shameful and sad day for Hong Kong that an election for Council of our honorable institution has sunk to this level.
  6. Being on Council has meant a huge investment in time and effort to prepare for and attend so many meetings.  I look forward to an easier life in future.  We must thank all those on Council for the contributions they make. 
  7. Enquiries from the media will be entertained after the results of the election are announced.

Jonathan Ross

August 21, 2021

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