Railway protester in court for tearing off police officer's epaulette

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 May, 2011, 12:00am


An activist accused of tearing off a police officer's epaulette in a protest last year appeared in court yesterday accused of criminal damage.

Yang Kuang, 43, a programme host on Green Radio, an internet radio station, pleaded not guilty at Eastern Court.

The incident took place on January 15 during a demonstration outside the Legislative Council building against construction of the high-speed rail line to Guangzhou.

Judge Gary Lam Kar-yan ruled that Yang had a case to answer. The court heard Yang clashed with policeman Sze Yu-leong at the junction of Jackson Road and Chater Road when Legco discussed funding for the high-speed rail line. Sze said he formed a human chain with 40 officers by holding hands to prevent the protesters from lunging towards Legco.

'I warned him not to lunge forward, but he ignored the warning and continue lunging towards the human blockade,' he told the court. 'I took several small steps backwards because of the force. He used his left hand to clutch at my left epaulette. He kept pulling it until I swayed a bit.

'I warned him to withdraw his hand and back off, but he ignored the warning and the badge was torn off.' A 17-minute video was played in court showing Yang's clash with police.

Sze said the badge was damaged and added that he and his colleagues used slight force to prise the badge from Yang's grasp.

Defence counsel Randy Shek said Sze pushed Yang's chest with both hands to stop him from proceeding.

Shek said the badge was damaged by the police when they tried to get it back. Sze said he did not rule out such a possibility.