Occupy Central

Two more Hong Kong police officers who were jailed over Occupy assault released on bail

Detective sergeant Pak Wing-bun, 43, and constable Chan Siu-tan, 33, join four others on bail and pending appeal out of seven convicted

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 July, 2017, 3:50pm
UPDATED : Friday, 14 July, 2017, 4:04pm

Two more Hong Kong police officers who were found guilty of assaulting activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu during the 2014 Occupy protests have been released on bail as they prepare to appeal their convictions.

Detective Sergeant Pak Wing-bun, 43, and Constable Chan Siu-tan, 33, are among the seven police officers found guilty in February of assaulting 41-year-old social worker Tsang during the 79-day pro-democracy protests in 2014.

With the latest move, six officers from the group have been granted release from prison, pending appeals.

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The pair, donning matching suits and ties when they appeared in court on Friday afternoon, were released on bail after Court of Appeal vice-president Mr Justice Michael Lunn found they could end up serving too much time in prison while they awaited the outcome of their appeal.

Pak and Chan’s cases are the latest in a string of successful bail applications from the seven officers, all of whom are planning to appeal their sentence and conviction.

While four have been earlier released on bail, only one officer remains in jail as he has not yet applied for bail. He is 33-year-old constable Kwan Ka-ho.

The seven officers were sentenced to two years in prison for assault causing actual bodily harm. Chan was sentenced to an additional month in jail for common assault to be served concurrently after he was found guilty of slapping Tsang twice at Central Police Station.

The 2014 incident took place shortly after Tsang was arrested for assaulting another group of 11 policemen by pouring a foul-smelling liquid on them.

In March this year, Tsang dropped his appeal against his conviction for assault and resisting arrest, and served his five-week jail term.

On Friday, Justice Lunn agreed with past bail application decisions that it was “highly arguable” that the length of the officers’ sentence was “manifestly unjust”.

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A number of supporters were present in the courtroom on Friday, waving and nodding at the two officers.

Pak and Chan are not allowed to leave the city while on bail, and they will have to pay the court HK$50,000 and HK$100,000 respectively.

The conviction and sentencing of the police officers prompted outrage across police ranks and among their supporters, who saw their punishment as unduly harsh.

The charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm carries a possible three-year jail term.