應否告七警使用酷刑?

有討論指七警案應控以使用酷刑,我寫這一篇擺明是胡謅,因為這條例在
香港沒有使用過,連法律權威典籍Archbold也只列出法例條文及起訴必先要律政司長同意,才能啓動檢控程序(一般會向法庭呈上Secretary for Justice Consent to Prosecute的表格)。這控罪在其他普通法國家也沒有使用過,沒有案例,故此,討論就欠奉了。

法例第427章《刑事罪行(酷刑)條例》是1993年制定的,條例的制定是因為1984年12月10日聯合國通過了《禁止酷刑和其他殘忍、不人道或有辱人格的待遇或處罰公約》(United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment)。英國是該條約的簽訂國,條約也延續到身為殖民地的香港。公約的第二條敦請協約國自行立法防止酷刑的發生。法例第427章第3條的條文,寫得比公約第一條的條文廣闊。先看法例第3條:

Chapter: 427 PDF Title: Crimes (Torture) Ordinance Gazette Number: E.R. 2 of 2014
Section: 3 Heading: Torture Version Date: 10/04/2014

(1) A public official or person acting in an official capacity, whatever the official’s or the person’s nationality or citizenship, commits the offence of torture if in Hong Kong or elsewhere the official or the person intentionally inflicts severe pain or suffering on another in the performance or purported performance of his or her official duties.
(2) A person not falling within subsection (1), whatever the person’s nationality or citizenship, commits the offence of torture if- (Amended L.N. 28 of 2013)
      (a) in Hong Kong or elsewhere the person intentionally inflicts severe pain or suffering on another at the instigation or with the consent or acquiescence of- (Amended L.N. 28 of 2013)

        (i) a public official; or

 

      (ii) any other person acting in an official capacity; and

    (b) the official or other person is performing or purporting to perform his or her official duties when he or she instigates the commission of the offence or consents to or acquiesces in it.

(3) For the purposes of this Ordinance, it is immaterial whether pain or suffering is physical or mental and whether it is caused by an act or an omission.
(4) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section in respect of any conduct of the person to prove that the person had lawful authority, justification or excuse for that conduct.
(5) For the purposes of this section lawful authority, justification or excuse (合法權限、理由或解釋) means-

      (a) in relation to pain or suffering inflicted in Hong Kong, lawful authority, justification or excuse under the law of Hong Kong;

 

      (b) in relation to pain or suffering inflicted outside Hong Kong-

        (i) if it was inflicted by a public official acting under the law of Hong Kong or by a person acting in an official capacity under that law, lawful authority, justification or excuse under that law;

 

      (ii) in any other case an authority, justification or excuse which is lawful under the law of the place where it is inflicted.

(6) A person who commits the offence of torture is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life.

這法例沒有對「酷刑」一詞釋義。聯合國公約第一條就先下定義:

Article 1
1. For the purposes of this Convention, the term “torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
2. This article is without prejudice to any international instrument or national legislation which does or may contain provisions of wider application.

公約對酷刑的介定列了幾種前置條件,首先是為了逼供。法例第427章卻沒有清晰列出逼供的元素。縱觀香港其他法例,只有兩處對酷刑釋義。一處是《入境條例》第37U條:

章: 115 標題: 《入境條例》 憲報編號: E.R. 1 of 2013
條: 37U 條文標題: 第VIIC部的釋義

酷刑 (torture) 指—

(a) 為—
(i) 向某人或第三者取得情報或供狀;
(ii) 某人或第三者所作或被懷疑所作的行為,處罰該人;或
(iii) 恐嚇或威脅某人或第三者;或
(b) 基於任何一種歧視的理由,蓄意使該人在肉體或精神上遭受劇烈疼痛或痛苦的任何作為,而這種疼痛或痛苦是在公職人員或以官方身分行使職權的其他人所造成的,或是在其唆使、同意或默許下造成的(純因法律制裁而引起或法律制裁所固有或隨附的疼痛或痛苦則不包括在內);

套用(a)(ii)的介定在七警案,會演繹成他們知道或懷疑曾健超在天橋上面,向天橋下面的軍裝警員淋潑不明液體,所以處罰他,打他一鑊。以此作依據來檢控七警使用酷刑可行嗎?

以酷刑條例作檢控史無前例,爭論空間較多。何謂劇烈疼痛(severe pain)? 在有其他選擇的情況下,控以「有意圗而導致他人身體受嚴重傷害」罪會直接了當,較為穩妥。反正兩條罪最高都可處終身監禁,就無需選一條門檻極高的控罪來自找麻煩了。

另一考慮是,警察在執行職務期間打人,沒有一個政府會提升到國際層面,違反聯合國公約的程度。就算以人權立國的大佬,對付恐怖份子嚴刑逼供外,國內黑人受到虐打個案無數,也不肯背負這種惡名對執法者作這種罪名的檢控,香港不這樣做當然可以理解。反正現在確實提出檢控,沒有姑息任何人,也不見得有何不公義。

寫這一篇開宗明義講是胡謅,走筆至此,不再亂講下去,有勞讀者點化了。

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