Viet tells of assault

A VIETNAMESE inmate was dragged to the administration block and assaulted by officers during the Whitehead detention centre raid, Sha Tin Court heard.

Tong Cong Sau testified for the Crown yesterday that he was assaulted by four uniformed officers after he climbed down from the roof to avoid tear-gas.

The court heard the incident occurred on April 7 during a removal operation in which more than 1,500 Vietnamese were moved to High Island detention centre pending repatriation.

On trial are two Correctional Services Assistant Officers (Class 2), Yue Ka-fai, 22, and Wong Sze-fai, 23, who were the serving officers at Section 7 of Whitehead.

Represented by Paul Tse Tak-yan, Yue and Wong pleaded not guilty to a joint count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in which they are accused of assaulting Nguyen Van Hieu with other unknown persons, occasioning bodily harm, in the corridor of the security office in Section 7.

Wong also denied common assault on Tong. Tong told the court he woke at 6 am when he heard inmates saying police had come and they were going to be repatriated.

He said he used rope to tie himself up with other inmates who formed a line and shouted slogans against forced repatriation.

He said he saw officers tapping their batons on shields.

They tried to force the inmates, who were gathering in the open area, to go to their huts.

After they refused, tear-gas was released, said Tong.

'One of the police pulled opened my collar and put a tear-gas canister in.' To avoid the tear-gas on the ground, he said he climbed on to the roof.

Later, he climbed down and returned to the open area, where he was kicked, punched and had his hair pulled by four uniformed officers who were wearing masks, he said.

Tong said he was dragged to the administration block in Section 7 and kicked on the right shin outside the building.

Prosecutor Simon Tam said another inmate, Nguyen, who was being escorted to the security office, was assaulted by five uniformed officers.

It is alleged Nguyen was hit on the face, chest, back and other parts of the body. Yue and Wong were later identified by Nguyen.

The hearing before Magistrate Colin Mackintosh continues.