Hong Kong: Snowden’s lawyer faces disqualification

Hong Kong: Snowden's lawyer faces disqualification

Canadian Human Rights Attorney Robert Tibo is to be revoked in disciplinary proceedings by the Hong Kong Bar Association. There was a 30-minute hearing on Tuesday. Tibbo seeks rescue from his British colleague Geoffrey Robertson, who has represented WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The Ministry of Justice rejected it.

The bar association has now postponed the decision whether Robertson will be recruited as a free defense attorney until June 16, Tibbo said online. “The Department of Justice now has three weeks to consider whether it will continue to reject Robertson’s application for approval,” Tibbo said. He suspects that the rejection was ordered by the Hong Kong government. The lawyer only communicates with reporters through Signal Messenger and the Swiss email service ProtonMail.

Robert Tibbo helped Edward Snowden in June 2013 after revelations about Internet surveillance by the US Secret Service NSA in his spectacular escape from Hong Kong. He had hidden the wanted whistleblower among other refugees. Snowden was able to hide with Vanessa Rodale and two other families for 13 days before fleeing to Hong Kong by plane. En route to South America, Snowden is trapped in Moscow, where ever he lives.

Tebow and his team of attorneys are still defending the destitute refugees, whom he calls “Snowden’s angels”, in court for the purpose of obtaining asylum for them. In late March 2019, he succeeded in leaving Canada for Filipino asylum seekers Rodale and his daughter Keena. Vanessa Rodale was threatened with arrest and removal of her daughter in Hong Kong, Tibbo said. Ajit Pushpa, the couple Nadide and Supun Thilina, who hid Snowden with him, live in Hong Kong and are subject to harassment from the Hong Kong administration. Tibo is also trying to get a visa for them from Canada, but Canadian officials have so far refused to consider it for the United States.

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Should Robert Tibbo lose his lawyer license in Hong Kong in June, he will no longer be able to legally defend these refugees. The case against him is now in the news On the constitution of human rights in Hong Kong. Tibbo sees himself a victim of a state-controlled intrigue and suspects retaliation by Hong Kong authorities for Snowden’s escape organization.

Under Chinese sovereignty, democracy in Hong Kong is currently more and more restricted, for example by new security laws. Protesters protesting these restrictions were arrested and brought to justice. Recently, a lawsuit against 47 democracy activists was opened on Monday.

Tibo is accused of “unprofessional behavior” in his proceedings before the bar association. After Edward Snowden’s escape from Hong Kong, several anonymous allegations were brought against the lawyer. As a result, the Bar Association initiated disciplinary proceedings against him. Robert Lawson, the British lawyer, refused the Chamber because of the triviality of the proceedings, explained Tibbo. He is accused of “disorderly behavior against a judicial officer” who ruled the loss of Tibbo’s clients. Tibbo has been criticized that his accused are allowed to remain anonymous and may also be judges in the case against him.


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