Minibus driver cleared over traffic officer's death

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 June, 2011, 12:00am

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A minibus driver accused of causing the death of a traffic policeman by dangerous driving was acquitted yesterday after a judge said it was not clear whether or not he had run a red light.

Cho Shu-hing, 61, was charged after a collision between his green-top minibus and a motorcycle ridden by Raymond Leung Ting-lun, 34, at the junction of Fan Leng Lau Road and Wo Muk Road, Fanling, on August 17 last year.

He had pleaded not guilty at an earlier hearing.

Prosecutors and five of seven witnesses said Cho had turned into the junction against a red light.

But District Court judge Anthony Yuen Wai-ming said yesterday that expert evidence from a Transport Department engineer indicated that the light would have been green at the time Cho made the turn.

There was also no evidence that the driver had been speeding, he said.

The court heard that the incident happened when Leung and another officer on a motorcycle were travelling along Fan Leng Lau Road on their way to Sheung Shui police station. Leung and his motorcycle were thrown 1.5 metres into the air. He was taken to hospital and died the same day.

Giving his verdict yesterday, Yuen said an important issue in the case was whether Cho had run a red light.

The judge noted that one of the two witnesses who said the light had been green was a colleague of Cho, who was driving a minibus behind him, and might have had a motive for saying so.

He also referred to the evidence of the engineer who took into account the timing of the traffic-light changes and Cho's speed in calculating that the light would have been green.

The court earlier heard that Cho had been travelling at 50km/h and that there had been light rain.