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Hong Kong courts

‘Grave injustice’ spurs retired senior Hong Kong policeman to again appeal Occupy assault conviction and sentence

In a bid to revive his high-profile case involving a protest bystander, he argues the judge in his previous appeal failed to apply the correct legal test.

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 October, 2018, 9:11pm
UPDATED : Friday, 12 October, 2018, 9:13pm

A retired senior police officer jailed for striking a bystander with a baton during Hong Kong’s 2014 Occupy protests has appealed to the top court on the grounds that he endured grave and substantial injustice.

Frankly Chu, 58, on Friday filed his application for leave to appeal against his conviction and sentence to the Court of Final Appeal.

The application came after the Court of First Instance dismissed his first bid to appeal last month.

Defence counsel Peter Pannu said Chu would argue that “substantial and grave injustice” had been done in the high-profile case.

Examples he gave included the argument that the Court of First Instance had failed to conduct a rehearing as obliged and that the appeal judge had failed to apply the correct legal test in dismissing the bid.

But Pannu said his client would continue to serve his three-month sentence.

“Chu will not be applying for bail pending appeal,” the counsel said.

‘Full support’ from Hong Kong police chief for jailed ex-senior officer

A Department of Justice spokesman confirmed that prosecutors had received Chu’s notice of appeal.

The court has yet to schedule a hearing.

The former superintendent was convicted last December of assault occasioning actual bodily harm for striking Osman Cheng Chung-hang, 28, with a baton during a clearance operation in Mong Kok on November 26, 2014.

His offence is punishable by three years’ imprisonment.

26 Hong Kong police officers arrested in 2018 so far

Mr Justice Albert Wong Sung-hau said in dismissing the appeal that Chu was not justified in using any force at all when he struck a compliant man with a potent weapon, with the intent to inflict unlawful force.

“A law-abiding citizen is entitled to expect no such thing to happen on him,” Wong wrote in an 85-page judgment. “If that happens, public confidence is shaken … What the appellant did, sadly, failed to meet the expectation. He also set a very bad example for his subordinates.”

The case was the second time a court had found officers guilty of using excessive force while policing the 79-day Occupy protests, which shut down major roads as protesters called for greater democracy in the city. In February last year, seven police officers were jailed for two years on the same charge for punching and kicking an activist who poured liquid over their colleagues.

Their appeal will be heard next month.