Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On said Wednesday that the government was not launching an internal administrative investigation of Secretary for Administration and Justice Florinda Chan Lai Man since the city’s highest court had already cleared her of all wrongdoing in the long-running burial plots saga.
Chui made the comment prior to the opening ceremony of the natural gas operations centre of Nam Kwong Natural Gas Co. in Coloane.
Chui said that the government respected the court ruling, which he said stated clearly that Chan had not committed the crimes of document forgery, misfeasance and abuse of power.
Former government employee Paulina Santos had accused Chan of the three crimes in the controversial granting of 10 perpetual burial plots in 2001 by the Provisional Municipal Council of Macau, which was replaced by the Civic and Municipal Bureau (IACM) two weeks later. Macau’s municipal administration is part of Chan’s portfolio.
Santos has filed an appeal even though the Court of Final Appeal has said that its single-judge ruling is unappealable.
The Public Prosecution Office (MP) began an investigation into the burial plots case in 2010, following a complaint by Santos, who is also a lawyer and a member of one of Macau’s most prominent Macanese families.
“What is there to internally investigate?” Chui asked after reporters questioned him on whether the government would launch an internal investigation of Chan, who has been cleared of the three alleged crimes, but which, according to legal sources, does not necessarily mean that she is clear of administrative violations.
“At this moment, we have not launched an internal investigation of Secretary Chan,” Chui was quoted by The Macau Post Daily as saying.
“The pre-trial hearing at the Court of Final Appeal already made a ruling,” Chui said.
“The government, as always, will respect or implement the court’s ruling. It’s clear to everyone that Macau’s legal system is independent and free of interference and follows the law.
This is a very important core value of the Macau Special Administrative Region,” Chui said.(macaunews)