Witnesses told to reveal names - in a whisper
Prosecution witnesses at the trial of businessman Jerome Lau Ting-sing, who faces charges of indecent assault and criminal intimidation, must declare their full names in the oath they take in court, the judge decided yesterday.
The four alleged victims were allowed to testify behind a screen in the trial, which started on Wednesday. Prosecutor Jeffrey Fenton asked the court not to require the men to make their identities public.
Fenton had suggested Deputy Judge Ernest Lin Kam-hung follow what he called a High Court practice of letting them avoid reading out their names in the oaths.
But Lin struck out the application, saying: 'This is a matter of principle ... [The witnesses] should be open to scrutiny.'
The judge told Fenton to trust a gag order he had imposed since the start of the trial, which barred the media and members of the public from revealing the men's identities.
Lin suggested each of the witnesses should 'lower his voice' at the point they read out their names in the 10-second declarations.