Mong Kok riot

Glass bottles hurled at Hong Kong police during Mong Kok riot, court hears

Three youngsters are first to face trial for rioting after cases transferred to District Court; they all pleaded not guilty

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 February, 2017, 8:49pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 February, 2017, 9:55pm

Objects including glass bottles being hurled at police posed a threat and prompted the force to move its line of defence backwards, a policewoman confronting rioters in Mong Kok last year told the District Court on Thursday.

On the second day of the trial of three people accused of rioting in the district during the Lunar New Year in 2016, officer Lo Wai-yin recounted the violent confrontation between protesters and police around midnight.

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“It was chaotic. So many glass bottles and various objects were hurled at us,” she testified.

On the morning of February 9, 2016, dozens of protesters gathered on the northbound lane of Nathan Road near Soy Street, according to the prosecution.

The move followed a confrontation between local crowds and police over hawker control the previous night. Police sent in reinforcements as tensions escalated.

A group of people formed a barricade and blocked part of Nathan Road. Some of them came close to the police line of defence and began throwing various objects at officers.

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The court heard the attack continued despite police warnings.

Not every officer was equipped with protective gear like shields and helmets, the prosecution added.

As officers retreated, Lo said she saw a woman, dressed in blue, twice throw glass bottles towards the force’s line of defence.

“She did not wear a face mask. She had long dark hair,” Lo said of the woman’s appearance.

But the woman ran away as the force began to take action to disperse the crowd.

The court heard that the woman was intercepted by Lo before leaving the scene. “I acted alone and took her to an open area outside Chong Hing Square,” she said.

The policewoman searched through her rucksack, found her Hong Kong identity card and knew her name was Hui Ka-ki.

The woman was then arrested and taken to Mong Kok police station, the court was told.

Hui, a university student, and two others, student Mak Tsz-hei and cook Sit Tat-wing, face one joint charge of rioting.

The trio make up the first batch of defendants transferred from Kowloon City Court to have their cases heard in the District Court. They all pleaded not guilty.

The hearing continues before judge Sham Siu-man.