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HKU council controversy

Arthur Li was unafraid, so claim of calls to kill him was false, ex-student leader’s defence says

Billy Fung’s lawyer targets HKU council chair’s unfazed demeanour on night of controversy; says credibility of witnesses may also be in doubt

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 January, 2017, 6:14pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 January, 2017, 10:24pm

Professor Arthur Li Kwok-cheung’s behaviour indicated he was unafraid, calling into question if he had really heard cries to kill him as he left a university governing council meeting, the court heard on Wednesday.

The Eastern Court also heard that the absence of an identification parade by police right after the confrontation might undermine the credibility of some witnesses.

‘Stupidity has no cure,’ Arthur Li says in email battle over late report

Li, the chairman of the governing council at the University of Hong Kong, testified in December against former student union president Billy Fung Jing-en, 23, who pleads not guilty to one count of criminal intimidation and an alternative charge of disorderly conduct in a public place outside the Hong Kong Jockey Club Building for Interdisciplinary Research on January 26, 2016.

The professor said he was leaving the building with other councillors at 8.45pm when Fung called out to protesters: “Don’t let him go! Don’t let Arthur Li go! Kill him! Kill him!”

On Wednesday, lawyer Martin Lee Chu-ming SC, representing Fung, refuted Li’s claim that his client incited an attack. The lawyer noted Li had told the court that he stopped looking at Fung after hearing the cries.

“One should keep a close eye on his possible attacker after such a threat,” the lawyer said. “It’s fake,” he added of Li’s claim that he was frightened.

The lawyer also questioned whether prosecution witnesses truly recognised Fung and co-defendant Coleman Li Fung-kei.

Coleman Li, 21, denies obstructing a senior ambulance medic who took nearly two hours to take councillor Leonie Ki Man-fung to the hospital after she was allegedly kicked by protestors.

“Police didn’t hold an identification parade [right after the incident] when they were supposed to,” Martin Lee said, adding that witnesses might not remember clearly the duo’s appearances after the time lapse.

Magistrate Ko Wai-hung will make a ruling on March 29.