Wong Yuk-man

Throwing glass towards ex-Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying could not have been assault, Wong Yuk-man says at appeal

One-time pan-democratic Legco member argues city’s former leader had never complained about being scared by the 2014 incident

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 August, 2018, 7:02pm
UPDATED : Monday, 06 August, 2018, 9:10pm

A former pan-democratic lawmaker convicted of giving an ex-Hong Kong leader a scare by hurling a glass towards him during a legislative meeting told a court on Monday his action could not possibly amount to assault.

Wong Yuk-man was jailed for two weeks and fined HK$5,000 (US$637) after he was found guilty of common assault on former chief executive Leung Chun-ying by the Eastern Court in 2016.

The radical lawmaker, known for his animated speaking and filibustering attempts during his tenure between 2008 and 2016, tossed a glass in the direction of the top official during a question-and-answer session inside the Legislative Council on July 3, 2014.

The incident led to the first time a Hong Kong leader was called as a witness at a trial. Leung testified that the glass had landed behind him and shattered, sending him into shock.

In common law, giving someone a fright can amount to an assault.

But on Monday, Wong argued the former top official had never complained about being scared by the glass-throwing. Rather, he was troubled by the noise of it breaking, which happened later.

In fact, the one-time lawmaker claimed, Leung did not even witness his throwing the glass. He therefore argued that even if Leung were scared, he should not be held responsible.

In fact, “he was still calm and relaxed,” Wong said of Leung, whose term as city leader ended last year.

Deputy director of public prosecutions Anna Lai Yuen-kee SC conceded no similar cases had come before the court.

Fiery ex-Legco member claims assault trial was unfair

But Lai said Wong’s throw was a continuous action, so it would include the glass breaking.

Mrs Justice Judianna Barnes Wai-ling needed time to consider the ruling. She adjourned the appeal to a later day.

Wong, 66, was found guilty by magistrate Chu Chung-keung in October 2016.

During the question-and-answer session on the day, Wong threw three piles of documents before tossing a glass of water, which landed near Leung and broke.

Leung later picked up a glass fragment and returned to the stand to ask what impact Wong’s action would have on youngsters.

Wong argued at trial the glass had slipped out of his hand and that the action was part of a chaos he staged in protesting Leung.