Tsang push an accident: activist
A protester accused of hitting Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-keun in the chest told police that his arm accidentally 'had contact with' Tsang's shoulder as he was pushed and shoved by the crowd, a court heard yesterday.
But a police officer who acted as bodyguard for Tsang on the day of the alleged attack said Wong Chun-kit (pictured) had suddenly appeared in front of the top official - shortly before Tsang asked: 'Why did you bump into me?' - and placed his hand on Tsang's chest.
Wong Chun-kit, 25, and Wong Ho-ming, 22, appeared in Kowloon City Court yesterday accused of intending to provoke a breach of peace during their noisy demonstration when Tsang was on his way to officiate at the opening of an exhibition marking the centenary of the 1911 revolution on March 1 at the Museum of History, Tsim Sha Shui.
They each pleaded not guilty to behaving in a disorderly manner in a public place. No common assault charge was pressed against Wong Chun-kit although he was arrested in connection with his bumping into Tsang after the incident.
In a video tape, provided by the League of Social Democrats, played in court, the pair shouted slogans and confronted Tsang, angrily asking how he could face 1.23 million underprivileged and 300,000 old people. They railed against the mandatory provident fund and demanded the government launch a universal retirement benefit.
Tsang's escorts were heard in the tape repeatedly saying 'calm down' and 'be polite'. Wong Ho-ming held a box of rice with fish in corn sauce, in reference to a remark made by Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah that he did not know how much the dish cost.
The court heard that Wong Chun-kit told a police officer that he took part in the demonstration because he was unhappy with the budget and the HK$6,000 handout. He had gone to the museum after finding out on Facebook that Tsang would appear there at about 5pm, the court heard.
'He said he charged towards the chief executive because he wanted to make a petition and protest,' police officer Yuen Woon-keung, who questioned the activist after the alleged attack, told the court. 'He said there were many people. There were pushes and shoves, which made him lose his balance and fall onto the chief executive,' Yuen said. 'He said his arm had contact with the chief executive's shoulder ... he said he made the contact because he was careless and he did not intend to.'
Chief inspector Wong Chi-shing, who escorted Tsang that day, said he was alarmed by the activists. '[Their] acts did not look friendly. I was worried they would injure the chief executive and the officials with him.'
The court heard Tsang had to change his route and enter the Science Museum to avoid protesters.
The protester was pulled away by security staff. A museum staff member told the court he sprained his right thumb trying to stop the protesters. The trial continues before Magistrate Johnny Chan Jong-herng.