Seven Hong Kong police officers charged with beating Occupy activist Ken Tsang may face jail terms after a year on suspension
Seven police officers accused of beating activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu during the Occupy protests last year could face prison after police said all had been jointly charged with wounding or striking with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
One officer is also charged with one count of common assault.
The charge of shooting or attempting to shoot, or wounding or striking with intent to do grevious bodily harm carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
All seven officers have been released on bail and are due to appear at Eastern Court on Monday. It is understood that there would be no plea and the prosecution would apply to have the case transferred to the District Court for trial.
The District Court however can only hand down jail terms of up to seven years. The prosecution can apply to have a case heard in a lower court than the High Court - which handles more serious cases with penalties of more than seven years - if they think it does not warrant a jail term longer than that.
The seven officers reported back to police this morning after spending almost a year suspended from duties.
Police confirmed their names as Chief inspector Wong Cho-sing (Organised Crime and Triad Bureau); Senior inspector Lau Cheuk-ngai, Sergeant Pak Wing-bun, PC Lau Hing-pui, Wong Wai-ho (all Kwun Tong district); PC Kwan Ka-ho (Kowloon City district); and Chan Siu-tan, a police constable in the Kowloon East district crime unit, who has also been charged with common assault.
Police said the decision to press charges and have the case transferred to the District Court was made according to advice given by the Department of Justice.