Four accused of attack inside Hong Kong’s Jordan MTR station walk free from court
Doubts raised by absence of CCTV footage and discrepancies between the victims’ descriptions of the assailants and their actual appearances
Four men who were charged over a bloody knife attack inside an MTR station during evening rush hour walked free from the District Court after a judge found “discrepancies” and “omissions” in the identification procedures.
Another defendant, Amandip Singh, who was tried along with the four, will be sentenced on Thursday after he earlier pleaded guilty to three charges of wounding with intent.
Satnam Singh, Jaswinder Singh and Vikramjit Singh were each acquitted yesterday of wounding with intent.
Vikramjit Singh and another man, Mohammad Waheed Khan, were also found not guilty of perverting the course of justice.
The charges were laid in connection with a knife attack at Jordan MTR station on September 21, 2015.
Deepak Sangari, Hardeep Singh, Harpal Singh and three companions were attacked by nine or 10 other South Asians when they were waiting on a platform to board a train to Tsim Sha Tsui.
The culprits were said to have got off from a Central-bound train and then knifed the trio.
The assault, which took place shortly after 6.30pm, lasted one to two minutes and left pools of blood at the scene.
The attackers said nothing and fled before police arrived.
Sangari, Hardeep Singh and Harpal Singh each suffered cut wounds and were admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital before they were discharged a few days later.
The three said they only recognised Amandip Singh, whom they had met previously, as one of the assailants.
Amandip Singh surrendered himself to Kowloon City police station on October 20, 2015, after three others were arrested.
They were all identified by the victims in separate identification parades as those who had slashed them.
But the identification was challenged by their lawyers during the trial.
Judge Amanda Woodcock took note of the absence of CCTV footage capturing the assault at the MTR station.
She also found discrepancies between the victims’ descriptions of the assailants and their actual appearances.
In particular, she questioned whether the witnesses could remember the faces they only caught a fleeting glimpse of during the chaos on the platform.
“The victims were not very strong eyewitnesses [in this case],” the judge said, adding that the discrepancies and omissions could raise doubts.
The witnesses gave no descriptions of the facial features of individual attackers before the identification parades, she added.
“There are too many unanswered questions. The whole truth did not come out.”
Woodcock found the identification “unsafe” and therefore acquitted four of the five defendants.
Satnam Singh, Jaswinder Singh, Vikramjit Singh and Mohammad Waheed Khan, who was found not guilty of threatening witnesses, left the court with friends and acquaintances after the verdict.