Hong Kong localism and independence

Fourth person, 71, arrested in connection with Hong Kong airport attack on lawmaker Nathan Law

Additional arrests expected in wake of violent protest aimed at pan-democrat

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 January, 2017, 3:05pm
UPDATED : Friday, 13 January, 2017, 6:06pm

A 71-year-old man was arrested on Friday in connection with the assault on localist lawmaker Nathan Law Kwun-chung, who was injured during a violent protest at Hong Kong International Airport on Sunday.

The elderly Hongkonger was picked up by detectives from New Territories South regional crime unit when he left his home in Sham Tseng on Friday morning. His arrest brought the total number of arrests relating to the case to four.

Watch: Nathan Law attacked at Hong Kong airport

The suspect was later driven back to the crime unit’s headquarters in Tsuen Wan, where he was being held for questioning.

It was understood further arrests in connection with the case would follow.

On Tuesday, two men, aged 53 and 71, were arrested in connection with the assault. The pair were initially detained on Sunday night on suspicion of assaulting three TV crew members covering Law’s return to the city from Taiwan.

Hong Kong and Taiwan lawmakers deny colluding over political independence at conference besieged by protests

On Wednesday, police arrested a third suspect – a 68-year-old woman – on suspicion of assaulting Law and taking part in an unlawful assembly.

Police said the three suspects had been released on bail pending further investigation.

Violence erupted at the airport on Sunday night as Law emerged from the arrival hall upon his return from a two-day visit to Taipei, where he and three fellow localists – including lawmakers Edward Yiu Chung-yim and Eddie Chu Hoi-dick – held talks with Taiwan’s pro-independence New Power Party.

The protesters yelled “traitor” at Law. Some held banners bearing the words “get out of Hong Kong”.

Attack on lawmaker at Hong Kong airport a serious security breach, and a slur on the city’s name

Law, a Demosisto party lawmaker, suffered scratches to his neck and arms and a bruise on his right thigh. Someone also threw liquid in his face, and his shirt was torn.

He has urged police to investigate whether elements of organised crime were involved in the protest, and suggested the assault had been planned and was no ordinary demonstration.

Law also claimed a lack of police security at the time of his return was partly to blame for the scene.

But a police source rejected Law’s allegations, claiming officers had warned Law of the protesters and had advised him to take another route exiting the airport but that he had declined to do so.