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Jab service expands to mall

The Government’s outreach team for the first time, set up a temporary vaccination area to provide a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination service at a shopping mall in Kwun Tong today.   Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip inspected its operation and presented prizes to winners of a lucky draw which was held to encourage the public to get vaccinated. He thanked the shopping mall for providing the venue and for joining the Government in promoting the vaccination campaign.   “This is the first time that our outreach service team has provided a COVID-19 vaccination walk-in service at a shopping mall to allow people who wanted to get vaccinated to do so immediately without prior booking.”   He noted that as the Government has started giving out consumption vouchers, citizens may use them at shopping centres.   “I hope that while they go shopping, they can also realise the importance and urgency of getting vaccinated,” he added.   Almost 300 people including shopping mall and offic

Sentences are in accordance with law

The Department of Justice today said baseless attacks on sentences imposed by the court, which properly and aptly exercises judicial power independently as guaranteed under the Basic Law, manifest a total disrespect to the rule of law.   The department made the statement in response to comments from overseas politicians concerning the sentences imposed by the District Court involving nine defendants who were jointly charged with organising and knowingly taking part in an unauthorised assembly.   It said two of the defendants pleaded guilty before trial while the remaining seven were convicted of all the charges by the court on April 1, adding the judge set out the reasons for the verdict in her judgment on the same day, which is publicly available at the Judiciary's website.   The judge also stated the sentencing principles in court in imposing the sentences today.   The department said the Government has repeatedly pointed out that where a defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty after trial, it is the court's duty to impose a just and appropriate sentence, applying the relevant principles to the circumstances of the crime and those of the offender.   It is crucial that where there is any dissatisfaction over the sentences imposed by the courts, any redress ought to be taken up by means of an appeal or review, it added.   The department noted it is appalled by open demands for the immediate release of the defendants who admitted to their wrongdoing by either pleading guilty to their criminal act or were convicted after trial by the court.   While pointing out that such demands, absurd and menacing as they are, are in blatant violation of international laws and basic principle of non-intervention, the department said statements that create a real risk of prejudice to court proceedings in that the public confidence in the due administration of justice is undermined may amount to contempt of court.   It reminded members of the public that no one should comment arbitrarily on cases in respect of which legal proceedings are still ongoing as the matter is sub judice.
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