Last Hong Kong policeman in jail for Ken Tsang assault released on bail
All seven of the officers filmed beating the activist in 2014 intend to appeal convictions and sentences
The last Hong Kong policeman still in prison for assaulting a protester during the Occupy protests of 2014 was released on bail on Wednesday.
Detective Constable Kwan Ka-ho’s release means all seven officers jailed for beating Ken Tsang Kin-chiu at a protest site in Admiralty are out of prison pending appeals against their convictions and sentences.
On Wednesday, vice-president of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice Michael Lunn granted Kwan’s bail on the condition that he surrender all his travel documents and not leave Hong Kong. The constable was also ordered to pay HK$100,000 cash bail.
During the Occupy protests, Kwan and six colleagues were filmed punching, kicking and hitting Tsang with a baton on Lung Wo Road, which at the time was a stronghold of pro-democracy protesters.
After their trial District Court judge David Dufton intended to sentence the seven to two and a half years in jail over the joint charge of assault causing bodily harm. But after considering their mitigation, he reduced that to two years.
The other six are Chief Inspector Wong Cho-shing, Senior Inspector Lau Cheuk-ngai, Detective Sergeant Pak Wing-bun, Constable Lau Hing-pui and Detective Constables Wong Wai-ho and Chan Siu-tan.
In the bail application, Kwan’s lawyers mentioned that the other six had all been bailed already.
They told the appeal court on Wednesday they had filed draft grounds for his appeal against the sentence, but needed more time to prepare grounds to overturn his conviction due to the time it takes to get trial transcripts from the District Court, where the seven were sentenced.
In granting Kwan’s bail, Lunn cited reasons given by appeal court vice-president Mr Justice Wally Yeung Chun-kuen when he released the first batch of three officers.
Yeung said at the time that the appeal was a result of a long trial involving many defendants and documents. “The appeal proper could not be dealt with within six to nine months, by which time the defendants would have completed a major part, if not all, of the two years of their imprisonment,” Lunn cited Yeung as saying.
All seven officers have been suspended from duty.