Journalist 'assault': stand-off on justice

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 December, 2013, 5:12am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 December, 2013, 5:12am

The Department of Justice yesterday issued further explanations as to why a man accused of attacking a South China Morning Post photographer escaped prosecution, but it still failed to convince journalists' groups it had made the right decision.

May Tse, who was allegedly pushed over and kicked by Chioo Wing-ming outside Kowloon City Court, said she remained disappointed at the decision. The Journalists Association called the explanation "perplexing".

Post editor-in-chief Wang Xiangwei said: "We regret the decision made by the police and the Department of Justice.

"We urge the authorities to ensure journalists carrying out their legitimate duties are properly protected."

Police announced on Tuesday that Chioo would not be charged after considering advice from the Department of Justice.

The alleged incident took place on October 24 as Chioo, 23, was leaving court with his girlfriend Cheng Yan-na, 20, who had just been put on a good- behaviour bond for slapping him. Cheng had been captured on film slapping Chioo 14 times during an argument on the street.

As journalists jostled to catch a glimpse of the couple, Tse was allegedly pushed to the ground and suffered injuries to her head, arm and knee.

In a statement yesterday, the Department of Justice said it had "carefully and repeatedly" reviewed two videos taken by media at the scene, both "at normal speed and in slow motion". "The situation as seen from the video clips does not support the allegations," it said.

It added there were discrepancies between witness accounts and the footage. "Such discrepancies further adversely affect the prospect of conviction," it said.