Lawmaker Ted Hui pleads not guilty to three charges over phone-snatching incident in Hong Kong Legislative Council
- Legislator is accused of assaulting and obstructing a public officer and obtaining a mobile phone belonging to the government
- Prosecutors have gathered evidence from 25 witnesses, obtained CCTV and media interview footage, and conducted close to four hours of interviews with Hui
Hong Kong opposition lawmaker Ted Hui Chi-fung denied on Tuesday all three charges he faced over a phone-snatching incident in the legislature in April.
Hui, 36, pleaded not guilty on his first court appearance to charges of common assault, obstructing a public officer in the performance of a public duty, and obtaining access to a computer with a view to dishonest gain for oneself or another.
The Eastern Court heard the Democratic Party member was accused of assaulting and obstructing public officer Leung Ngok-sze and obtaining a mobile phone belonging to the Hong Kong government.
The alleged offences were said to have taken place in the Legislative Council on April 28.
When asked to enter his plea before Principal Magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen, Hui shook his head and replied: “Not guilty.”
Prosecutors revealed that they had gathered evidence from 25 witnesses, obtained CCTV and media interview footage, and conducted close to four hours of interviews with Hui.
The case was adjourned to December 17 for a pretrial review.
Hui was released on HK$8,000 (US$1,020) bail.
Common assault is punishable by a one-year jail term, while the offence of obstructing a public officer carries a maximum sentence of a HK$1,000 fine and six months in prison. Obtaining access to a computer with a view to dishonest gain has the highest maximum sentence among the three charges, at five years’ imprisonment.
According to Article 79 of the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution, if a lawmaker is convicted and sentenced to jail for one month or more for a criminal offence committed within or outside the city, he or she can be relieved of their duties should two-thirds of lawmakers support the move.