The seven police officers accused of beating activist Civic Party member Ken Tsang have been granted bail of HK$1,000 each, with their hearing adjourned until November 17.
The officers, who have been charged with wounding or striking with intent to do grievous bodily harm, appeared before the Eastern Magistrates’ Court on Monday afternoon. All officers were in full suits, with three of them donning face masks and shades, Apple Daily reported.
The officers were not allowed to contact or discuss the case with the 33 witnesses, most of whom are policemen. They said that they understood the charges.
Outside, over a dozen policemen were stationed near the building and many demonstration areas have been set up.
Leticia Lee Sin-yin, along with other members of the Justice Alliance, gathered outside the courts to express their support of the seven officers. Lee said that the seven police officers were “the conscience of Hong Kong” and that they have done many acts of justice during the pro-democracy Occupy movement last year. She also said she hoped that members of the public, whether or not they were physically present at the law courts, could spiritually support the officers.
Lee was asked to leave the courts after trying to take photos of the hearing, Stand News reported. According to the Summary Offences Ordinance, taking pictures inside the courtroom was prohibited and offenders could be fined HK$250, Initium Media said.
Fu Chun-chung of Defend Hong Kong Campaign were also seen protesting outside the law courts. He said that he did not want to stand next to Leticia Lee as they had differing ideologies – she was only supporting the seven officers, but he supported the entire police force, Ming Pao reported.
Last Thursday, the seven police officers who were caught on film apparently kicking and punching Tsang in a “dark corner” in Tamar, Admiralty during the Occupy protests last year were officially charged, exactly a year after the incident took place.