A High Court judge on Monday ordered the police to pay i-Cable punitive damages for mis-steps after it asked the court to order the broadcaster to hand over unedited footage concerning cases involving Civic Party member Ken Tsang.
The police had applied to the court for access to raw footage allegedly showing Tsang being beaten up by seven officers and assaulting police with liquid during the pro-democracy Occupy protests in 2014. It also asked for the identities of the relevant photographers. The media outlets the requests were made to included the parent companies of Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB), Asia Television Limited (ATV), Apple Daily, i-Cable and Now TV’s parent company, Sing Tao Daily reported.
The court rejected the request last week on the basis that it had not been shown to be necessary in the public interest. The need for the evidence had also been questioned earlier. However, i-Cable News challenged the conduct of the police’s court application by the Department of Justice, arguing that insufficient grounds were given for the application and that the wrong respondent was repeatedly listed, RTHK reported.
The Honourable Judge Judianna Barnes Wai-ling said on Monday that the originating summons sent to i-Cable on December 31, 2015 had listed the wrong respondent, and that this was not corrected until the case was under review, even though the mistake had been pointed out earlier. She also said that i-Cable had the right to know the details of the relevant footage requested, but the police failed to provide this.
The court ruled in favour of i-Cable News on Monday morning and ordered the police to pay the court hearing fees as well as punitive damages.
Tsang was filmed apparently being kicked and punched by seven police officers in a “dark corner” in Tamar, Admiralty during the Occupy protests in 2014. On the same day, Tsang allegedly assaulted 11 police officers by pouring water onto them from the embankment of the underpass at Lung Wo Road, then resisted arrest by four officers.