HK leader under pressure over airport luggage claim

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Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying attends the opening ceremony of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2016Image source, AFP

Hong Kong leader CY Leung is facing public pressure after a media report said he put pressure on airport staff to bypass security rules.

The Apple Daily alleged he had asked Cathay Pacific staff to help his daughter retrieve her carry-on luggage which had been left outside the restricted area on 28 March.

The bag was then delivered directly to the gate in violation of procedure, the report said.

But Mr Leung denies speaking to staff.

The chairwoman of the Democratic Party, Emily Lau, has asked for an independent investigation into the incident.

'No contact with staff'

According to airport security rules, passengers must exit the restricted area to get any left behind luggage and go through immigration again.

The paper's report said Leung Chung-yan, 23, was at the boarding gate for her flight to San Francisco from Hong Kong International airport when she realised she had left her carry-on bag outside the restricted area.

Her mother, Regina Leung Tong Ching-yee, who was in the restricted area as a "special person" to see her off asked the staff to bring the luggage to the gate, Apple Daily said. The staff declined to do so.

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
CY Leung denies that Regina Leung was inside the restricted area with her daughter

Apple Daily says Ms Leung then called her father, who they allege then asked that the luggage be brought into the restricted area. The staff then brought the luggage as a "special case", the report said.

In a statement late on Wednesday, Mr Leung said although he knew about the incident, he did not have any contact with airport staff "let alone exerting pressure on them".

He denied that Mrs Regina Leung was in the restricted area and also that he had asked staff to address him as "Chief Executive Leung".