Revised charge for Hong Kong activist who claimed he was kidnapped by mainland agents
Howard Lam Tsz-kin, 42, posted a notice he received from police on social media, showing his initial charge of misleading police has now been changed to making a false report of a crime
The charge against a Hong Kong democracy activist who claimed he was kidnapped and tortured by mainland Chinese agents has been changed to one of making a false report of a crime, four months after he was brought to court under the initial charge of misleading the police.
Democratic Party member Howard Lam Tsz-kin, 42, posted a photo of a document on a social media platform on Tuesday afternoon, saying that he received a notice earlier that day from police about the change.
The document, titled “Amendment of Charge”, stated that Lam knowingly made a false report of crime to police officer Wong Kai-pui in a ward at Queen Mary Hospital on August 11. Lam claimed in his report to Wong that he was abducted on the afternoon of August 10 in Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon.
Police said Lam had violated item 64(a) of the Police Force Ordinance.
Lam was originally charged under item 64(b) of the ordinance – misleading the police – on August 16. Upon conviction, both offences could lead to a fine of HK$1,000 and imprisonment of six months.
The ordinance also stipulates that any amended charge shall be read and explained to the defaulter.
On August 11, Lam held a press conference claiming he had been pushed into a van in Yau Ma Tei on August 10 by Mandarin-speaking men who took him to an unknown location, punched staples into his legs and dumped him on a beach in Sai Kung.
Hong Kong activist makes bail but barred from travel over alleged misleading of police with China agents kidnap claim
After the press conference, Lam filed a formal police report and had his wounds examined.
On August 15, he was arrested on suspicion of misleading police.
The hearing for Lam’s case has been postponed twice to December 7. During his last court appearance on October 26, the judge decided to give police more time to seek legal advice, while Lam’s lawyer complained that police had failed to provide witness accounts and medical reports.
Lam is on bail and has been barred from leaving Hong Kong since his first court appearance in August.
Police said they would not comment on the case during ongoing legal proceedings.