A sergeant claimed Joshua Wong Chi-fung prevented him from carrying out duties because the former Scholarism convenor seized a water bottle meant for recycling and drew an angry crowd during a protest on Beijing’s white paper in June 2014. The Eastern Court case centred on the burning of a prop of Beijing’s white paper – addressing the extent of Hong Kong’s autonomy – outside the central government’s liaison office in the city’s Western district on June 11, 2014. Four men were arrested 13 months later for allegedly obstructing police: League of Social Democrats vice-chairman Raphael Wong Ho-ming, 27, Chan, 61, Demosisto chairman Nathan Law Kwun-chung, 23, and the new party’s secretary Joshua Wong, 19. All four earlier denied the charges. Hong Kong protesters tried to prevent police putting out fire, court hears Sergeant Lai Kin-man, who was not in uniform on the day in question, testified on Wednesday that he tried to douse the fire with water from a bottle, saying the tall open flames posed a danger to those nearby. He said he called out his identity as he moved forward in the crowd, but that Chan and Raphael Wong used their right hands to block him. He said he therefore made a second attempt to proceed before the fire was ultimately put out by a colleague with a fire extinguisher. Lai said he then turned to his left to find Joshua Wong standing two feet away and that Wong grabbed the empty bottle from his right hand. “Why did you seize police property?” the sergeant said he asked Wong. Lai testified the former Scholarism convenor did not reply, but instead dropped the bottle to the ground and said: “I didn’t push. It was your colleague.” The sergeant also recalled that Wong and Law had blocked his colleague’s way while pressing forward in his direction. Defence counsel Kevin Tang said the sergeant could not rule out the possibility that others behind Joshua Wong and his client Law had pushed the pair forward. “It’s possible,” Lai replied, before agreeing to a further suggestion that it was his subjective view that the pair blocked his colleague. Full text: Chinese State Council white paper on ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy in Hong Kong Meanwhile, defence counsel Lawrence Lok Ying-kam SC said it was obvious his client Joshua Wong could not hear what the sergeant was saying that day as he gave incoherent answers. Lai, however, disagreed. Lok further suggested that Joshua Wong merely tapped the bottle, and said his client’s actions could at most amount to inconvenience as he questioned how the sergeant’s duties were obstructed. “He caused many protesters to block me,” Lai replied. “I couldn’t focus on my crowd control duties.” But Lok pressed him, asking: “What was the use of the bottle when the flames had already been put out?” “I needed the bottle for recycling,” the sergeant replied. The trial continues before magistrate Lee Siu-ho.