The High Court has granted leave for Ken Tsang Kin-chiu to seek a judicial review of the police force’s refusal to name the seven police who he says kicked and punched him during the Umbrella Movement last year.

Ken Tsang Kin-chiu.

Tsang, a Civic Party member, was attacked in Tamar Park last October during the police’s clearance of protesters on Lung Wo Road in Admiralty. The entirety of the scene was filmed by local television station TVB. While the seven officers were later arrested, none of them has been prosecuted, according to Stand News.

Policemen carrying Tsang away. Photo: TVB.

The pro-democracy activist and social worker sought a judicial review to order the disclosure of the seven policemen’s names as the police had not responded to his formal written request.

Mr. Justice Au Hing-cheung said Tsang had an arguable case regarding the police’s responsibility to reveal the seven names, and granted permission for the judicial review.

Michael Vidler, Tsang’s lawyer, said during the hearing that it would be difficult for Tsang to file a civil lawsuit if he could not establish the identities of the seven officers, according to RTHK. Vidler added that this affected Tsang’s right to seek justice.

Counsel for the police argued that the facts of the case were disputable and should not be raised through judicial review. He said that TVB’s film footage only showed “dark shadows”, so the officers were not identifiable.

Update: Tsang said outside court that lawyers for both parties will submit hearing dates to the court by July 20, according to RTHK. He said that while two months have elapsed since Secretary of Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung indicated the need to seek advice from an independent Senior Counsel, Yuen still has not told the public if or when the seven officers will be prosecuted.

Tanya Chan Suk-chong, fellow member of the Civic Party, expressed her fears that the hearing may not take place for a year. She said that if the Department of Justice fails to prosecute, Tsang may have to rely on the list of names to bring a private prosecution.

Paul Benedict Lee

Paul Benedict Lee is an undergraduate law student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Paul has previously contributed to HK Magazine and Radio Television Hong Kong, covering issues ranging from local heritage conservation to arts features. He has also worked as a legal intern at local human rights firm Daly & Associates.