Hawker fights counts of obstructing path, officer
A Fa Yuen Street hawker whose prosecution last month led to a four-hour standoff between onlookers and police pleaded not guilty to obstructing the street and preventing an officer from carrying out his duties.
Mok Yuet-ling, 52, denied a charge of obstructing a public space by setting out fruit for sale beyond the permitted zone on December 23 at her Mong Kok stall, Kowloon City Magistrate's Court heard yesterday.
She also denied wilfully obstructing Ho Wai-ho, assistant hawker control officer of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, in the performance of his duties.
The prosecutor said Mok's produce extended 0.9 square metres beyond the permitted sale area.
However, Mok told the court: 'They said it was OK in the morning, and then said it was not right in the afternoon.'
Several members of the League of Social Democrats protested outside the court building. Her trial is scheduled to begin on March 6.
Last month, some 100 people turned up at the stall run by Mok and her husband, who is in his 80s, after hawker control officers accused the pair of blocking the street.
Police were mobilised during the four-hour dispute and a woman was arrested for splashing water on a police officer.
The row came after the city's deadliest blaze in 15 years killed nine people and injured 34 others on the street.
Police suspect an electrical fault caused the fire - possibly because of overloading - rather than arson.