'Mastermind' among arrests for acid attack on prosecutor

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 December, 2009, 12:00am

Police have arrested six men allegedly involved in an acid attack on a prosecutor outside the District Court in October, including the suspected mastermind.

Five suspects appeared in Eastern Court yesterday charged with conspiracy to throw corrosive fluid with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Police expected the suspected mastermind to be charged soon.

The court was told the men - Billy Kay Sik-hong, Leonardo Tang Chong-hou, Lam Wai-sai, Chau Kim-lung and Lee Yin-nam, aged between 18 and 43 - were involved in the October 27 attack on Neil Mitchell, 52, outside the District Court in Wan Chai. The prosecution said the attack was very serious and well organised.

No plea was taken and the case was adjourned to next Wednesday for an identity parade.

Acting Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai denied applications for bail from all five suspects amid fears they might jump bail or interfere with witnesses. The men were remanded in custody.

Superintendent Albert Man Tat-shing of the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau, speaking outside court, said police would consult the Department of Justice on the possibility of charging the suspects under the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance.

'We believe we have arrested the mastermind behind this attack,' Man said, adding that more suspects, including the mastermind, would be brought before the courts soon.

Man said police had determined the motive for the attack, but he could not give further details as the matter was before the courts. He declined to comment on whether the suspects had triad links.

Laboratory tests of the black liquid thrown at Mitchell's face found it was diluted sulphuric acid, Man said.

Mitchell was attacked as he left the court for the lunch break. The liquid was thrown in his face, splashing onto his shirt. Two men wearing shorts were seen fleeing along Harbour Road towards Causeway Bay immediately after the attack. A paper cup, believed to have contained the liquid, was found in a rubbish bin.

Mitchell suffered damage to the cornea of an eye and was under police protection while in hospital.