National Security Judge Victor So back to work after his stay in intensive care
Chief Magistrate Victor So Waitak returned to work on Monday, five months after being admitted to intensive care for heart problems.
According to Sing Tao Daily – the Standard’s sister publication, So, one of the National Security Designated Judges, has been working at the West Kowloon Magistrate’s Court since Monday, having been on sick leave since October last year. .
So also sent emails to colleagues saying he had recovered and was back to work.
It is understood So was in the intensive care unit at Queen Mary Hospital due to his heart condition in October last year.
At that time, the judiciary replied that So was on sick leave and that his work would be temporarily assigned to magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen. But the judiciary declined to comment on So’s condition citing confidentiality.
The Queen Mary Hospital also refused to confirm or release relevant information without the patient’s consent.
Appointed as one of the national security judges, So has handled a number of national security cases, including the fraud case of jailed media mogul Jimmy Lai-Chee-ying, where he denied the request for Lai’s bail, as well as the primary election case. of the pro-democracy camp.
He also once handled the case of top national security defendant Leon Tong Ying-kit, who was jailed for nine years on charges of inciting secession and terrorism after driving his motorcycle into a group of police on July 1. ‘last year.
He last handled a national security case on August 26, 2021 where a clerk and a student were charged with conspiracy to print, publish, distribute, display or reproduce seditious publications.
In December 2020, it is reported that So’s office received bomb threats with a man shouting “I will bomb you, your wife and your son to death” after So ordered that Lai be fired until at his next hearing.
The Hong Kong Bar Association later issued a statement, saying that threatening to kill a person is a serious offense and that the offense is aggravated if the motive for the threat is to frighten a judicial officer so that he can decide the cases in a way. rather than another in the future.
The Ministry of Justice also issued a statement, emphasizing zero tolerance for serious illegal acts against judicial officers and urged that anyone who is dissatisfied with court decisions be able to appeal through the mechanism. existing.
Born in Hong Kong in 1972, So earned a Bachelor of Laws and a Postgraduate Certificate in Law from the University of Hong Kong in 1996 and 1997 respectively.
He was called to the bar in 1997 and worked in private practice from 1998 until joining the bench as a permanent magistrate in 2009.
He was then appointed Senior Magistrate in 2017 before being appointed Chief Magistrate in 2020.