'No evidence of attack on Tsang'
Lawyers for an activist accused of hitting Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen during a protest in March said yesterday the allegation was not supported by evidence.
No witnesses saw the alleged attack nor did a video played in court show it, Kowloon City Court was told.
Lawyers for alleged attacker Wong Chun-kit, 25, and fellow protester Wong Ho-ming, 22, also said that 'a trivial rough incident occurring in a moment of animal exuberance' during a demonstration should be tolerated in a democratic society.
But prosecutors said only 'peaceful' demonstrations would be tolerated and protesters whose unruly conduct put people in fear for their safety must be punished.
The lawyers and prosecutors were making their final submissions after the court ruled that there was a case for the pair to answer on one count each of behaving in a disorderly manner in a public place.
They were accused of intending to provoke a breach of peace during their noisy protest over the then recently released budget on March 1, when Tsang was on his way to the Museum of History in Tsim Sha Tsui to open an exhibition marking the centenary of the 1911 revolution.
The two had decided not to give evidence in their defence.
For the pair, barrister Douglas Kwok King-hin said the alleged attack on Tsang was without basis as no prosecution witnesses had told the court that they saw the attack.
He said the court only heard testimony from acting chief inspector Wong Chi-shing, who escorted Tsang that day, that the chief executive, with his hand on his chest, had said 'Why did you bump into me?', shortly after Wong Chun-kit suddenly appeared in front of them.
'There was no evidence from the policeman that he saw any physical contact,' Kwok said.
Wong Chun-kit was initially arrested for alleged common assault but the charge was not pressed against him when he was brought to court. Tsang did not give evidence.
Kwok also said Wong Ho-ming, who was seen holding a box of rice with fish in corn sauce, running towards Tsang had no intention of throwing the food at the top official.
He said the protester held the rice because it carried a special meaning, referring to a remark made by Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah that he did not know how much the dish cost. 'It's his freedom of expression. It's his fundamental right to express his political view,' Kwok said.
Kwok also said Tsang was 'smiling' when he saw the meal box drop from Wong Ho-ming's hand to the ground. But magistrate Johnny Chan Jong-herng said that was the usual expression Tsang wore in public.
The lawyer said minor misconduct during a demonstration should be tolerated. 'Tolerance is the hallmark of a pluralistic society,' he said, adding that no one at the scene was provoked to resort to violence - an element of breach of the peace.
But prosecutor Vinci Lam Wing-sai said causing people to fear that their safety or property would be harmed was enough to constitute a breach of the peace.
The case was adjourned to August 11, when the prosecution will continue its submissions.