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13 building plans approved in Nov

The Buildings Department approved 13 building plans in November - two on Hong Kong Island, six in Kowloon and five in the New Territories.   Of the approved plans, eight were for apartment and apartment-commercial developments, two for commercial developments, one for factory and industrial developments, and two for community services developments.   Consent was given for works to start on 11 building projects which will provide 210,471 sq m of gross floor area for domestic use involving 2,595 units and 83,060 sq m for non-domestic use.   Additionally, the department received notification of commencement of superstructure works for nine building projects.   The department also issued 16 occupation permits - three on Hong Kong Island, five in Kowloon and eight in the New Territories.   Buildings certified for occupation have 53,034 sq m of gross floor area for domestic use involving 1,355 units and 168,627 sq m for non-domestic use. http://dlvr.it/Sh3Dtw

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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