Police seek permission to raise cash for officer's court appeal
Police officers are seeking to raise $5 million to fund an appeal by a colleague who lost his fight for damages over severe head injuries sustained in a raid 13 years ago.
Mr Justice Azizul Suffiad in the Court of First Instance dismissed Inspector Chan Sze-ki's $17.6 million claim in August, calling him 'the author of his own misfortune', and awarded costs to the defendants. Inspector Chan accused the force of negligence.
The inspector was shot in the face when he and 12 other officers raided a building in Li Tak Street, Tai Kok Tsui, on April 24, 1992, in one of Hong Kong's most heated gun battles. The injury led to his loss of smell and part of his sense of taste. Inspector Chan also suffers short-term memory loss and emotional disabilities.
He has been in and out of hospital ever since, and the medical and legal costs are overwhelming him. He has been warned that he may not survive more surgery.
'The situation [I'm in] is very rare and weird,' he said yesterday. 'Few colleagues would still be jeopardised over 10 years after sustaining a wound.'
The chairman of the Police Local Inspector Association, Chief Inspector Tony Liu Kit-ming, said their fund-rasing activities would focus inside the police. They have asked for permission from the chief executive, which is necessary to avoid infringing graft laws.
Some citizens had already sent cheques to RTHK after the station featured a long interview with him last month, he said.
'Some members of the public have also, either through the Police Public Relations Branch or by calling me directly, expressed their wish to help Inspector Chan's appeal as well as showing their support for police officers who are dedicated to their job,' added Chief Inspector Liu.
But these cheques have been put on hold as the association has yet to receive permission to raise funds publicly.
The inspector said he would give all the donations to charity should any be left over after the appeal, which is set to be heard on February 9.