A man wrongfully jailed for six weeks for closing the door of a stranger's van could seek compensation under official channels, the secretary for justice said on Wednesday. Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung was responding to the Court of Final Appeal's ruling on Monday that Law Yat-ting's act did not amount to the criminal offence of "tampering" with a vehicle. A top judge described the sentence as "most regrettable" and one that "could have been mitigated by a more timely appeal coupled with an application for bail". "The gentleman has told media that he hoped the government would compensate him. On this, the government has an administrative mechanism through which compensation could be sought," Yuen said. University of Hong Kong legal academic Eric Cheung Tat-ming, who represented Law in the top court appeal, agreed his client should get compensation. "His act did not constitute an offence whatsoever. This is a very clear-cut case," he said. He would not speculate on the amount of compensation that should be awarded, saying the process required negotiation. Law was seen closing the van door in May last year. The driver alleged that Law stole his phone, a claim that was not substantiated. He was charged with tampering with a vehicle in violation of the Road Traffic Ordinance. READ MORE: Case closed in door-closing case as man cleared of tampering with van door Relying on the driver's account, Law was convicted in June last year, a decision upheld on appeal in the Court of First Instance. At both hearings there was no submission on what "tampering" meant under the ordinance. Under the Bill of Rights Ordinance, the government awards ex-gratia payments on "moral or compassionate grounds" in exceptional cases of miscarriage of justice, including time spent in custody following a wrongful conviction. In a reply to legal-sector lawmaker Dennis Kwok last year, the Department of Justice said compensation "may be payable" to a person convicted of a criminal offence who has spent time in custody and has received a free pardon because his innocence has been established. But compensation may be refused where there is serious doubt about the claimant's innocence, based on the argument that it would be repugnant to pay compensation out of public funds to a person who is probably guilty but, for example, whose conviction was quashed on a mere technicality, the department reply noted. The solicitor-general is responsible for considering whether a particular case falls within the guidelines for compensation. The amount payable is determined by the secretary for financial services and the treasury, taking into account the views of the DOJ and any other affected department or bureau.