Alleged interference with juridical independence by the executive branch

Commission against Corruption
Commissioner Andre CHEONG,

During the negotiation between residents of Sin Fong Garden and the government last year, in an attempt to persuade Sin Fong residents to leave Avenida do Almirante Lacerda, in addition to a pledge of financial support by two associations, the government representatives made a promise of the acquittal of the Sin Fong resident who had been arrested on 11 April 2014.

One year after the arrest, recently the Public Prosecutor officially charges the seven arrested Sin Fong residents of aggravated disobedience. Residents an the negotiating table revealed that last year the government had made “closing the case (acquittal)” a condition in exchange for their withdrawal from street actions.

The Basic Law of Macau stipulates that the courts and the the public prosecution shall exercise their duties independently free from any interference. Whether or not a case of public crime be proceeded with shall rest entirely on decisions made by the judiciary. Government officials’ promises of acquittal, made by overstepping their authority, shall be void and null.

The unlawful pledge of acquittal made by the executive branch undermines judicial independence fundamentally. If such a promise might be made to residents of Sin Fong Garden, the possibility of the same promise being made to even more people would not be dismissed easily. The New Macau Association is concerned over whether there have been promises of acquittal made by the executive branch “being honoured” by the judiciary. The juridical independence in Macau may be officially pronounced dead if a throughout and swift investigation into the allegation is not to be conducted.

Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo Rosario may not rid himself of his responsibility by merely saying “the previous inter-departmental group before me taking office was responsible.” Rosario has the duty to order a disciplinary investigation into the conduct of his subordinates.

The New Macau Association now urges the CCAC to proactively launch an investigation into the alleged accusation of representatives from the executive branch making a promise against the Basic Law with an intention to interfere with the judiciary.

New Macau Association

14 May 2015 - Press - CCAC - Pledge of acquittal