Ousted localist lawmaker on trial for storming Hong Kong Legco says he is victim of ‘character assassination’ by security guard
Baggio Leung says the guard accused him of ‘touching someone else’s breasts’ during November scuffle to enter meeting
An ousted localist lawmaker in Hong Kong on trial for storming a Legislative Council meeting took to the witness box on Thursday to accuse a security guard of “character assassination” during the incident.
Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang said the guard accused him of “touching someone else’s breasts” during the chaos on November 2, 2016, even though he had kept his arms by his side at the time.
Leung, his ally Yau Wai-ching – also an ousted lawmaker – and their three personal assistants are accused of forcing their way into a meeting despite obstruction from security guards.
Referring to the comment he claimed was made by one of the guards, Leung said: “It was character assassination.”
In response that day, Leung said he shouted back angrily: “What are you saying? Hit me!”
Prosecutors had cited the last comment in their opening speech, but did not include Leung’s version of the context of the remark.
Leung, Yau and their three assistants – Yeung Lai-hong, Chung Suet-ying and Cheung Tsz-lung – denied one joint count of taking part in an unlawful assembly. They also pleaded not guilty to an alternative charge of attempted forcible entry.
As prosecutors wrapped up their case, Leung on Thursday took to the witness box to rebut their allegations.
The court heard that Yau and Leung had tried to enter the chamber earlier on that morning to be sworn in after their oaths in October, which contained anti-China antics, were rejected.
Chaos then ensued, causing Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen – who held firm he would not entertain the duo’s attempt to retake their oaths – to adjourn the meeting to a later time at a conference room.
The prosecutors said Baggio Leung used his body to push guards preventing him from entering, and chanted “one, two, one, two” before storming the place. Leung refuted the allegations.
He said he turned up outside the meeting room that day, not expecting such resistance from the guards because he believed it was against the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance for anyone to obstruct lawmakers.
He said he felt “a force pushing him backwards for two or three steps” when he tried to advance.
He admitted he sought to jump through the mass of bodies by grabbing the top of a door, but the attempt failed and he was sandwiched between a crowd shoving him from the back and security guards pushing him from the front.
“I merely used some force to balance myself,” he said, denying pushing back at the guards.
The chaos resulted in one of the guards fainting. Leung said he tried to alert other guards about their colleague, but he had difficulty speaking at the time because his abdomen was pressed against the masses and he felt like vomiting.
The scene was packed with reporters, he recalled, and it took a while for them to eventually retreat from the back.
In a cross-examination, senior assistant director of public prosecution Jonathan Man Tak-ho, who argued Leung had teamed up with others to carry out the offence, said video footage showed 16 people, including Leung and Yau, taking the same lift to the meeting room in two groups.
Leung said he did not find this information particularly “special” and denied devising a plan in advance with the others.
The trial continues at Kowloon City Court before Magistrate Wong Sze-lai on Friday.