Four found guilty of tailing Hong Kong lawmaker Eddie Chu in Legco elections

Magistrate slams their explanation to police of ‘yum cha’ and ‘going for a ride’ as ridiculous

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 July, 2017, 12:22am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 July, 2017, 1:21am

Four men were found guilty on Friday of tailing lawmaker Eddie Chu Hoi-dick during the Hong Kong Legislative Council elections last year.

Acting Principal Magistrate Merinda Chow Yin-chu convicted Wong Kin-fai, 36, his brother Wong Chun-yam, 18, Lam Ka-chun, 43 and Ho Yee-kei, 41, of one joint count of loitering causing concern, saying that the men’s deliberate shadowing of Chu was beyond a “short period of time”.

It was also revealed during mitigation that unemployed Lam was jailed for 12 years after being found guilty of manslaughter two decades ago.

Hong Kong lawmaker had safety fears on seeing cars tail him and his campaign team throughout election day, court hears

The court heard earlier that Chu saw the men in two cars as soon as he left home with his wife and daughter at 7am on September 4 to embark on his election campaign.

Hours later, he saw Ho taking pictures of him, prompting him to fear for himself and the safety of his team.

Later, as Chu was on the road again, he found himself being followed by the group’s Toyota and Honda. At one point, his vehicle even came head-on with the Honda as he attempted to make a turn at a cul-de-sac to shake off the men.

He said he became more concerned when he found out the Toyota driver was Wong Kin-fai, his neighbour and the father of a kindergarten classmate of his daughter. Chu did not consider the man a friend.

Six suspected triad members arrested for tailing Eddie Chu not linked to Wang Chau housing fracas, police say

Chu testified earlier that Wong had a “background”, although this was not taken into account by the magistrate. “[Chu’s] worry is reasonable,” she concluded, calling him reliable and honest.

Chow slammed the men’s explanation given to police as “ridiculous”. They had said they were “going for a ride” and “waiting to yum cha”, a Cantonese phrase literally meaning to drink tea.

Defence counsel Kwong Ki-tack said the men were naive to think they could adopt such a paparazzi approach to observe Chu’s campaign. He urged the court to suspend sentence.

Chow granted bail to the four and sought reports on them to study the feasibility of a community service order. She also sought a probation officer’s report on Wong Chun-yam, who is a secondary school student.

Sentencing will be on July 18.