HONG KONG - Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who is still dealing with the biggest political crisis to hit the territory, on Tuesday (Jan 14) said she is not aware of the findings of the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC).
The police watchdog is reviewing the force's handling of anti-government protests on June 9 and 12, July 1, Aug 1 and 31, which involved major confrontations in and around the legislature, a citywide strike and clashes at Prince Edward MTR station.
The review also covers the attack on passengers and protesters by white-clad men at Yuen Long MTR station on July 21, and the report is expected by the end of the month at the earliest.
Mrs Lam's comments on the IPCC came after she was asked to confirm the council findings that are said to highlight several police shortcomings, including events on June 12 where the police first fired tear gas to disperse the massive crowd at the government headquarters in Admiralty.
It was reported by local media that the IPCC had found that the commander did not communicate clearly that day.
Mrs Lam added that once the findings are complete, the report will be handed to her directly and she will start work on it.
On setting up an independent inquiry as demanded by protesters, she stressed that the IPCC is an independent body that looks into complaints against the police.
Critics, however, said they have no faith in the IPCC as it comprises many pro-government or conservative figures, and was not as independent as the name suggested.
Separately, the city's health authorities and experts will meet on Wednesday morning after a government team returns from Wuhan where there has been an outbreak of pneumonia, said Mrs Lam on Tuesday morning.
She told the media before her weekly Executive Council meeting that Hong Kong University's laboratory is able to test more quickly and more accurately for the new virus now that it has its genetic sequence.
As it is the annual flu season and with the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations, she said preventive measures have been stepped up by the government, which will be adaptable, prepared and transparent in handling this matter.
The Hospital Authority said on Monday that there have been 68 suspected cases of people infected with the virus since Dec 31.
Of these, 56 patients, who made trips to Wuhan but did not visit the market which is said to be where the outbreak started, have been discharged.
This article has been edited for clarity.