Occupy Central

Man who called on people to ‘shoot dogs’ during Hong Kong Occupy protests has appeal rejected

High Court judge says renovation worker convicted of obtaining access to computer with intent to commit offence must take responsibility for his acts

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 August, 2017, 7:56pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 August, 2017, 9:47pm

A renovation worker jailed for six months for rallying others on Facebook to bring bricks, sticks and hammers for parties to “shoot dogs” during the Occupy protests in 2014 lost his appeal on Tuesday after the court questioned why he lacked the courage to bear responsibility for his acts.

Ku Ka-ho, 32, was convicted in Kwun Tong Court last year on two counts of obtaining access to a computer with intent to commit an offence.

He claimed that he was only reposting and sharing messages “out of fun” when he twice posted messages on December 3, 2014 to organise “a leader’s party” in Mong Kok and at the Legislative Council complex in Admiralty later that month.

Police had just removed the last protesters blocking streets in Mong Kok and were preparing to clear the pro-democracy civil disobedience camp in Admiralty before tackling the smaller site in nearby Causeway Bay.

In the messages, Ku divided members into groups named after a selection of weapons ranging from bricks to fire extinguishers.

The appellant ... considered himself ‘chief commander’ directing crowds and inciting those reading his messages ... to commit violent crimes in ‘the battlefield’
Mr Justice Stanley Chan

He also provided instructions on how to “shoot dogs” and target “dog cars”, the animal being a reference to police officers.

He said sharing was normal online behaviour.

But deputy High Court judge Mr Justice Stanley Chan Kwong-chi found it was an irresistible conclusion that Ku was the original creator of the posts.

He noted that even if he was not, he had taken ownership when he posted them from his account.

“In fact, from the wording of the messages, the appellant ... considered himself ‘chief commander’ directing crowds and inciting those reading his messages to put them into action ... to commit violent crimes in ‘the battlefield’,” Chan wrote.

“The court finds if one has the courage and audacity to command the crowds to fight, to scold their opponents as dogs ... why lack the courage and audacity to bear responsibilities?”

The judge also directed Ku to cover HK$2,000 of the prosecutors’ legal costs after finding his appeal grounds were weak.

But he stressed that it was not a punitive measure.

Ku, the son of two retired police sergeants, had three previous criminal convictions.