Public Prosecutor-General Ip Son Sang said Sunday there was no political motive behind the decision of the Public Prosecution Office (MP) to prosecute directly-elected lawmaker Sulu Sou Ka Hou earlier this year of alleged aggravated disobedience.
Ip made the remarks while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the annual “Walk for a Million” charity event.
Last week, Sou was suspended from the Legislative Assembly (AL), when 28 out of 33 members of the legislature voted for his suspension so that he can stand trial for the alleged crime.
The legislature said in a statement on November 13 that the Court of First Instance (TJB) had requested the legislature to make a decision on whether Sou was to be suspended from the legislature so that he could stand trial for the alleged crime.
The rookie lawmaker’s suspension will allow the trial to go ahead. It is the first suspension of a lawmaker since the establishment of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) in December 1999. The trial date has still to be announced by the court.
Prosecution of offences allegedly committed by a lawmaker that are punishable by less than three years must be authorised by the legislature.
Speaking to reporters Sunday, Ip said that his office prosecutes every case based on “actual facts”, adding that his office handles all its cases based on the principle of objectivity and legitimacy.
According to the Macau Post Daily when asked by the media if the Public Prosecution Office considers Sou likely to be found guilty, Ip said he cannot comment on any ongoing cases. But he added that prosecutors decide to prosecute particular cases when they believe that the defendants are likely to be found guilty.
It is up to a judge, or a panel of judges, to find a defendant guilty or not.
Sou and fellow grassroots activist Scott Chiang Meng Hin stand accused of aggravated disobedience in the wake of a demonstration in May last year against the public Macau Foundation’s controversial decision to donate 100 million yuan o Jinan University in Guangzhou.
The Public Prosecution Office decided to prosecute Sou for the alleged crime in March this year. Sou became a lawmaker in October.