Hong Kong pro-democracy group member convicted for obstructing policewomen on fateful night of famous police beating

Conviction raises questions on progress of police brutality case reported same night

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 August, 2015, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 August, 2015, 12:00am

A member of a pro-democracy group was fined HK$2,500 on Tuesday for obstructing two policewomen on the night Civic Party member Ken Tsang Kin-chiu was allegedly assaulted by seven police officers.

Although the League of Social Democrats' Julie Li Sin-chi, 54, did not struggle when officers carried her away in Admiralty on October 15, Fanling Court Magistrate Colin Wong Sze-cheung noted that the defendant deliberately relaxed her body, forcing police to remove her.

"This act clearly made it more difficult for police to carry out their mission," Wong told Li, before finding her guilty.

Wong ordered Li, a clerk and an active fundraiser for underprivileged groups, to pay the fine.

Li denied one count of obstructing a police officer on the night in question. She refused to leave when two policewomen told her three times to do so on Lung Wo Road near Tim Wa Road.

Despite convicting Li, the magistrate rejected the account given by the two policewomen and refused to rely on the evidence they gave.

They had told the court they waited more than 10 seconds to act after warning Li. But a video played by defence counsel Randy Shek showed they waited only five seconds. Still, the video established that Li knew she had to leave yet did not, Wong said.

Outside court, league lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung noted that Li's case arose on the same night as the alleged assault on Tsang, which was caught on video and aired across Hong Kong. Leung asked why the names of the seven policemen in Tsang's case had not yet been made public.