Hong Kong lawmaker had safety fears on seeing cars tail him and his campaign team throughout election day, court hears
Highest vote-getter from last September’s legislative polls testifies at trial against four men denying joint charge of loitering causing concern
A Hong Kong lawmaker who won the most votes in last September’s legislative elections told a court on Monday he worried for his and his campaign team’s safety after seeing two cars tailing them across the New Territories from 7am onwards on polling day.
“I’d never experienced anything like this before in my life,” Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, 39, said of what he described as “a carefully orchestrated plan” to follow him.
“Someone tailing me from the moment I left home made me worry that the day’s campaign might be interrupted.”
The popular lawmaker was testifying against four men who denied a joint charge of loitering causing concern in a trial at Tuen Mun Court.
The four are decoration workers Wong Kin-fai, 36, Lam Ka-chun, 43, Form Five student Wong Chun-yam, 18, and Ho Yee-kei, 41, who is unemployed.
They were clearly identified in CCTV footage, according to prosecutors who accused them of loitering in the Yuen Long area either alone or with others on September 4 last year. Prosecutors said their actions caused Chu to be reasonably concerned about his safety and well-being.
The lawmaker recalled he left home with his wife and daughter after 7am on September 4 to find a white Toyota driving near.
“Didn’t expect you to leave so early,” he quoted the driver as saying.
Thinking it a polite comment, Chu embarked on his campaign tour across the New Territories West constituency, where he was among 19 candidates vying for nine seats.
At one point, he noticed a man taking pictures with a mobile phone. Chu then asked his staff to make enquiries while he travelled on.
He later realised his car was being followed by a white Honda and the white Toyota, prompting him to call police.
When officers did not arrive after 10 minutes, Chu tried to shake them off by driving aimlessly, only to find the Honda facing his vehicle head-on when he attempted to turn around from a cul-de-sac.
The Toyota driver was later identified as defendant Wong Kin-fai – his neighbour and the father of his daughter’s kindergarten classmate.
Chu said he was worried that he and his team would be attacked on polling day but felt he had to continue with his campaign to be responsible to voters.
But defence counsel Kwong Ki-tack countered the lawmaker had not been scared and prioritised the election over his safety. Kwong also suggested he had exaggerated his description of being on high alert. Chu disagreed.
The trial continues before acting principal magistrate Merinda Chow Yin-chu on Wednesday.