Secretary for Administration and Justice Florinda Chan Lai Man said Thursday that she reserves the right to take legal action against those who made calumnious accusations against her concerning the so-called perpetual burial plots case dating back to 2001.
Chan said that the accusations had tarnished both her reputation and the government’s image.
Chan held a press conference at Government House to point out that while the Court of Final Appeal (TUI) ruled on Tuesday that she has not violated any laws and bears no legal liability in the burial plots case, she was “saddened” that some people, because of ignorance of the facts, had made unreasonable accusations against her.
Chan reiterated that she would leave it to her legal team to see if there were any false accusations involved, adding that while she has not yet decided whether to sue the person or persons concerned she “reserved the right to take legal action.”
It was Chan’s first day back at work after spending her holiday on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem as well as joining a Roman-Catholic prayer activity in what she described as the Holy Land. “I am Catholic,” she pointed out, adding, “I’m feeling in fine form now to continue to serve the public,” she was quoted by The Macau Post Daily as saying.
Meanwhile, former government employee Paulina Santos told the media shortly after Chan’s press conference she felt “threatened” by the policy secretary’s remarks because of which she reserved the right to take legal action against her.
Santos, who is a lawyer by profession, said that there was merely insufficient evidence to charge Chan, adding that although “the Court of Final Appeal has completed the case, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the matter.”
The city’s top court, which had accepted Santos’s complaint against Chan, on Tuesday cleared the latter of all wrongdoing in the burial plots case. Santos had accused her of misfeasance, abuse of power and document forgery. The accusations were contained in Santos’s complaint that the court had accepted to hear.
Santos said on Tuesday that she had appealed the ruling by the Court of Final Appeal, even though the court has said that its decision on the Chan case was unappealable.
The high-profile case involves the granting of 10 perpetual burial plots by the municipal administration back in 2001.
The case came to light in 2010 when Santos filed an official complaint after her request for a perpetual burial plot for her brother had been rejected by the government, according to previous media reports.(macaunews)