Hong Kong police accused of assault have case to answer

Judge rules seven will have to present defence after hearing of injuries suffered by Occupy activist Ken Tsang

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 November, 2016, 4:23pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 November, 2016, 11:00pm

Lawyers for the seven policemen accused of maliciously assaulting Occupy activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu in 2014 will have to present their defence, after a judge ruled that there was a case to answer.

When prosecutors finish presenting their case in a non-jury trial, a judge will normally decide whether a defence is required or if the accused will walk free.

District Court judge David Dufton decided the seven officers – Chief Inspector Wong Cho-shing, 49; Senior Inspector Lau Cheuk-ngai, 30; Detective Sergeant Pak Wing-bun, 43; and constables Lau Hing-pui, 39; Chan Siu-tan, 32; Kwan Ka-ho, 33; and Wong Wai-ho, 38 – have to answer their charges.

They deny one joint count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent. Chan denies an extra count of common assault. But the court had already heard they would not take to the witness stand to testify for themselves.

Judge Dufton adjourned the case on Tuesday until December 5 for lawyers to make their final submissions.

The court heard the officers kicked, punched and hit Tsang with a blunt instrument during a pro-democracy protest in the early hours of October 15 at a substation near Lung Wui Road in Admiralty.

Some 15 circular bruises on his back, according to a medical report, were “completely congruent with” a retractable baton, and were almost certainly caused by it.

Prosecutor Daniel Marash SC said earlier the medical examination showed Tsang had red bruises and cuts to his head and body, most of which could have been caused by punches, kicks and being hit with a blunt object.

It was alleged that Tsang was subdued by other officers for splashing liquid at them before six of the accused took Tsang to the substation. They were later joined by the final defendant.

There, Tsang said he felt blows raining down on him for four minutes.

But, the prosecutor alleged, no batons were used in subduing Tsang before the assault.