Transcript of remarks by CE and Acting S for S (with video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, and the Acting Secretary for Security, Mr John Lee, at a media session at the ground floor lobby of the Office of the Chief Executive today (January 4):

Reporter: Mr Leung, is it a safe place for publishers to publish books that are critical of the Central Government, because there are fears that Lee Bo was abducted by Mainland police officers across the border?

Chief Executive: The freedom of the press and freedom of publication and freedom of expression are protected by laws in Hong Kong. The reason why I want to invite friends in the media to come to our office is to state solemnly the provision under the Basic Law, namely only legal enforcement agencies in Hong Kong have the legal authority to enforce laws in Hong Kong. No other law enforcement agencies - outside of Hong Kong, that is - have such authority.

Reporter: Sir, how many people are missing right now and believed kidnapped? Do you think there's evidence to suggest they've been taken across the border to Mainland China, and who do you think could be behind the possible kidnapping?

Chief Executive: As to the details of the cases, I shall ask the Acting Secretary to respond, but on a matter of principle, I want to restate the Government's position, and this is under the Basic Law and the "one country, two systems" arrangement. Only law enforcement agencies in Hong Kong have the legal authority to enforce laws and to take necessary actions in Hong Kong.

Reporter: But, sir, that suggests you think that perhaps another law enforcement agent may have carried out these abductions.

Chief Executive: There is no indication, and that's why I was appealing for more information. Anyone who think they may have information that may lead to a better understanding of their whereabouts and the reasons why they seem to be missing in Hong Kong or from Hong Kong would be welcome to provide such information to the Hong Kong government authorities.

Acting Secretary for Security: The Hong Kong Police have so far received reports relating to the missing of four Hong Kong residents. The latest missing person was last seen in Hong Kong. His family member, as the Chief Executive said, reported the case to the Police on January 1. There were earlier reports about three other Hong Kong residents who were last seen in Shenzhen. Because they are all related to the same company, the Hong Kong Police have consolidated the investigation. It is now conducted by the Regional Missing Person Unit with the support of Crime Formations. The Police have actively conducted the investigation into this missing person report. As I have told the media yesterday, the Police have finished examining the CCTV around the location where he was last seen. They are also extending their coverage to see whether there will be other leads that they can discover. They will also be making investigation with people who have last conversation or communication with the missing person. We should give time to the Police to conduct their investigation.

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

Ends/Monday, January 4, 2016
Issued at HKT 15:29