Report about alleged assault not made immediately as Occupy activist Ken Tsang did not trust police, court hears

Tsang told court he also couldn’t tell others who were arrested about the alleged beating by police officers because of a ban on talking during detention

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 October, 2016, 2:25pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 October, 2016, 10:10pm

Occupy activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu, who was allegedly assaulted by seven police officers, did not immediately file a report to police as he did not trust them, a court trying the policemen accused of the beating heard on Tuesday.

Tsang, who said he was kicked and punched during the Occupy protests in 2014, told the District Court on Tuesday that while he was under police detention, he was also unable to tell others who were arrested about the assault because officers banned any talking at that time.

“Even if I tried to look over my shoulder to look at the clock hanging on the wall, I would be shouted at,” Tsang recalled, referring to the conditions at the Hong Kong Police College in Wong Chuk Hang.

The activist was arrested for pouring liquid on police officers during the protest on October 15 and was later taken to the police school. It was alleged that soon after his arrest that day, Tsang was attacked and hit with blunt objects by seven police officers at a substation on Lung Wui Road in Admiralty.

Two police officers allegedly asked Occupy activist Ken Tsang to unlock phone over photos of his injuries, court told

His account of events was challenged on Tuesday by defence counsel Edwin Choy Wai-bond, who pressed Tsang for an answer on why he kept the alleged assault to himself until he met his legal representatives, despite being given numerous opportunities to disclose it to police.

“I didn’t complain to them because I didn’t think they were reliable or appropriate recipients of the complaint,” Tsang replied.

The court heard earlier that after the activist was arrested on Lung Wo Road, he was allegedly carried facedown by several of the seven officers to the substation where he was said to have been beaten.

Choy suggested that Tsang would thus not know if police officers had been swapped on the way to the substation. But the activist said he was certain that there was no change in the officers who walked within his periphery or held his limbs.

The exchange between the two grew heated at times, with Choy wondering how Tsang, a university-educated individual, could have possibly thought he could slow police officers down during the protest by pouring liquid onto them without aiming at them. “That’s a bit silly,” the barrister said.

When Choy followed up by asking how Tsang could be sure that the bottle contained water without having sipped on it, Tsang hit back: “You are a qualified barrister, aren’t you?”

Chief inspector Wong Cho-shing, 48; senior inspector Lau Cheuk-ngai, 29; detective sergeant Pak Wing-bun, 42; constables Lau Hing-pui, 38; Wong Wai-ho, 36; Chan Siu-tan, 31, and Kwan Ka-ho, 32, all deny one joint count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent on Tsang. Chan denies one extra count of common assault.

The trial continues before David Dufton on Tuesday afternoon.