Police have pored over hundreds of surveillance tapes to try to single out the two motorcycle hitmen in the attack on former Ming Pao chief editor Kevin Lau Chun-to and identify their escape route, a police source has revealed.
Watched by more than 100 officers, the two men accused of being those hitmen were taken, hooded and chained, to seven locations across the city yesterday in a bid to reconstruct the crime.
Officers believe the pair, who are both aged 37 and are understood to be friends, stole a motorbike in Luen Wo Hui, Fanling, in the middle of last month, parked it in Devon Road, Kowloon Tong, and retrieved it on the morning of the attack, February 26.
After the man riding pillion was said to have leapt from the motorcycle to attack Lau with a meat cleaver in Tai Hong Street, Sai Wan Ho, the hitmen allegedly abandoned the bike nearby.
Watch: Former Ming Pao editor Kevin Lau calls on government to restore confidence in the rule of law
The source said: "They each caught separate taxis from Sai Wan Ho to Kowloon Tong, where they drove a car to Sheung Shui. They then took the MTR and crossed the border at Lo Wu."
Officers were still viewing CCTV tapes, the source said. The alleged hitmen are believed to be members of a local triad gang, according to police.
In Sheung Shui, a team of police divers combed the Ng Tung River where police believe evidence may have been discarded.
The suspects were arrested in Guangdong and transferred to the city on Monday evening.
The police began the reenactment at about 11.30am when one of the suspects was taken to the waterfront at Tai Hong Street, where Lau, 49, was slashed from behind and critically injured.
The man, who appeared to be powerfully built and had his hands chained to his waist, was then driven about 800 metres away to Sai Wan Ho Street, where police had found an abandoned motorbike linked to the attack.
Shortly after midday, the second suspect was taken to Tai Hong Street. Officers gave him a prop knife and held up a dummy and he was seen to stage slashing actions while the police identification bureau videotaped him.
At about 2.45pm, both men were escorted to two Yau Ma Tei shops where the weapon was allegedly bought. They were next taken to Kowloon Tong, followed by Luen Wo Hui.
The last stop was Ng Tung River. "We have reason to suspect someone threw the weapon and garments into a river in Sheung Shui after committing the crime," Chief Inspector Simon Kwan King-pan of the Hong Kong Island regional crime unit said.
Meanwhile, a former justice secretary said the attack on Lau had "shaken" Hong Kong to its core.
"The alarm bells are ringing loud, culminating in an equally intense determination to ensure none of our cherished common values are impaired," Wong Yan-lung said at the University of Hong Kong, where he received an honorary doctor of laws degree.
Additional reporting by Johnny Tam