The chairman of the police watchdog has said they still cannot investigate the case of seven police officers who allegedly beat a protester during last year’s pro-democracy Occupy protests.

Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) chairman Larry Kwok Lam-kwong told local media that it cannot commence the investigation, as the Department of Justice was still awaiting legal counsel whether to prosecute the officers. He said, in accordance with the IPCC Ordinance, the IPCC has to wait until all criminal and legal processes are completed.

Deciding whether or not to prosecute the officers was a weighty decision that needed to be thought upon, Kwok said. “It should not be decided based on two videos, it must be investigated thoroughly and carried out on solid legal ground.”

The video allegedly showing police officers beating up Civic Party member Ken Tsang last year. Photo: Apple Daily.

Last October, TVB video footage appeared to show Civic Party member Ken Tsang being attacked in Tamar Park during the police’s clearance of protesters on Lung Wo Road in Admiralty. While the seven officers were later arrested, none of them have since been investigated for the matter.

Occupy protest-related complaints

When asked about complaints against the police related to last year’s protests, Kwok said that, as of last Friday, the police’s Complaints Against Police Office unit (CAPO) had classified 172 cases that the IPCC needed to follow up on.

IPCC Chairman Larry Kwok. Photo: Apple Daily.

150 cases have been submitted by CAPO to the IPCC. Out of these, the IPCC has launched full investigations into 16 cases, but none of the investigations have been completed so far. 95 of the cases were impossible to pursue, and 32 were withdrawn. The remaining seven cases were solved through ‘informal resolutions’.

Kwok said that he does not think the IPCC is too slow in handling the cases, and he hopes they will complete reviewing most of the protest-related complaints by the first half of next year.

IPCC and CAPO will hold a regular joint meeting today.

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Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.