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Transcript of remarks by SCA

Following is the transcript (English portion) of a stand-up briefing by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, after a luncheon of Hong Kong Democratic Foundation today (July 30):

Reporter: ...raids on media organisations.....rule of law?

SCA: The action taken by the Independent Commission Against Corruption has been based on an application to the courts of Hong Kong. So this action and this application are very much part and parcel of Hong Kong's legal system and rule of law. Provided that all parties concerned continue to act within the parameters of the law, Hong Kong's legal system and judicial independence will continue to be respected and preserved. So far as Hong Kong's international image is concerned, this remains a free and open society. The media profession in Hong Kong is very dedicated to promoting and preserving Hong Kong's freedom of speech. On the part of the Hong Kong Government, we remain totally committed to upholding Hong Kong's value as an open and free society. Whatever public issues there are for us to discuss in the open, we will always rise to the challenge and we will continue to work with the Hong Kong media to ensure that the public get to know a full picture of what we all care about, whatever the issue which is on the agenda for public debate.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Friday, July 30, 2004