Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying told a court on Tuesday of how he feared injury when a radical lawmaker allegedly assaulted him in the Legislative Council, at the start of a landmark trial that has again dragged Hong Kong’s political woes into the international spotlight. While his supporters and opponents held chaotic counter-protests outside Eastern Court, Leung became the city’s first sitting chief executive to testify in a criminal trial as he told the court of his shock when Wong Yuk-man allegedly threw a glass at him in the Legco chamber in 2014. Hong Kong court first: city’s leader Leung Chun-ying to testify in glass-throwing trial Leung, 61 – grim-faced at first but relaxing a bit later and managing an occasional smile – told the court that although government officials were no strangers to disruptions caused by lawmakers, what happened on July 3, 2014, during a Legco question-and-answer session was different. “This time it was a glass that was thrown,” he said. “It was an assault.” Wong, 64, formerly of the anti-Beijing League of Social Democrats, denied one count of common assault against the city’s leader. The two have sparred often in the chamber, as Leung does with his political opponents, but yesterday the battleground shifted to a criminal court of law, with Wong conducting his own defence and cross-examining the chief executive, who was called as the prosecution’s first witness . Led by prosecutor Anna Lai, Leung said lawmakers had thrown paper and placards at him moments before he heard the loud sound of glass shattering behind him that day. “Judging from the intensity of the noise, it was in close proximity,” he testified, adding that he believed it was the result of a strong impact. He spoke of how he gathered himself and checked if he was injured: “I was a bit in shock.” He was not injured, he said, though he feared he could be. He then picked up a fragment which he assumed was from the same glass that was hurled in his direction. Later that day, the court heard, Leung passed it to his bodyguard and acting chief inspector Aaron Cheng Ka-chun, after which witnesses statements were taken. Hong Kong transport and housing chief and six legislators to appear as witnesses in lawmaker’s assault trial Wong began by asking Leung: “Shall I call you Chief Executive Leung?” The reference to allegations that Leung had recently bullied an airline staff member while trying to arrange for the retrieval of his daughter’s left-behind luggage drew laughter from a packed public gallery and a word of caution to them from the magistrate. Wong was directed to address Leung as “witness” after the chief executive asked for a decision. Leung himself stumbled a couple of times by addressing the magistrate as “president”, triggering further laughter. Under Wong’s questioning, Leung said he did not see who threw the glass, but the prosecutors alleged it was Wong Wong earlier highlighted Leung’s “transcendent status” over the judiciary, referring to his controversial claim that his status was above that of all three branches of government because of his appointment to the top job by Beijing. This meant Leung would not face legal consequences even if he lied, Wong argued. But magistrate Chu Chung-keung said it was for him to decide how much weight to give Leung’s testimony. Chu earlier rejected Wong’s application to summon the chief secretary and justice minister as defence witnesses. Transport and housing chief Anthony Cheung Bing-leung is expected to testify as one. Leung will continue his testimony on Wednesday.