Occupy Central

Hong Kong activist ready to go to jail after dropping appeal against conviction for assaulting police

Protester sentenced to five weeks in prison last year for attack on officers says he has decided to ‘pay back’ immediately

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 March, 2017, 8:01pm
UPDATED : Monday, 20 March, 2017, 11:42pm

Hong Kong activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu will start serving his five-week jail term as soon as Tuesday after deciding not to appeal against his conviction for assaulting police during an Occupy protest in 2014.

In a dramatic turn of events, Tsang contacted the Post as well as writing on his Facebook page on Monday to say he was abandoning the chance to clear his name.

“After some thorough deliberation, I have decided to give up my appeal and ‘pay back’ immediately,” he said in a text message.

“I am aware that part of what I did that night was not tolerated by the law. I need to take responsibility for that,” the activist wrote on his Facebook page.

“I will give detailed reasons tomorrow,” Tsang said, when contacted by the Post.

Tsang was found guilty last year of one count of assaulting police officers and two of resisting arrest during an incident in which he poured foul-smelling liquid over 11 of them. He was sentenced in Kowloon City Court to five weeks in jail but granted bail to file an appeal.

He said would go to the High Court on Tuesday to undergo the necessary legal procedures. “After that … [I] will serve my sentence immediately.”

In a Facebook posting on Monday, Tsang also insisted that the liquid he poured was neither urine nor corrosive liquid, but water.

He also said police officers fabricated facts when they testified during the trial that he struggled so violently he even pushed officers on to flower beds.

After Tsang was arrested on that night in 2014, he was taken to an area near where the protest took place outside government headquarters – known as the “dark corner” – and kicked and punched by the officers.

Chief Inspector Wong Cho-shing, 50; Senior Inspector Lau Cheuk-ngai, 31; Detective Sergeant Pak Wing-bun, 43; Constable Lau Hing-pui, 39; and detective constables Wong Wai-ho, 38; Chan Siu-tan, 33; and Kwan Ka-ho, 33, were convicted of assaulting Tsang and jailed for two years in the District Court in February.

Their supporters called the sentence severe, despite presiding judge David Dufton’s show of leniency in cutting back the original 21 /2-year sentence by six months to factor in their contribution to society and loss of pension. Dufton also faced personal abuse over the ruling.

Tsang is a member of the Election Committee that will pick the city’s next leader on Sunday. He said he would reveal the arrangement for his vote on Tuesday.