A British photojournalist has said that a photo he took of an altercation during the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy protests is genuine, after a court quashed a common assault conviction saying the image could have been forged. Photographer Alex Ogle said that the prosecution did not summon him as a witness to verify the authenticity of the picture.

According to the charges, Man Ho-chuen – also known as “the Victoria Park uncle” – was accused of pulling at a yellow ribbon worn by a 19-year-old and jabbing his neck with his fingers outside the Bank of China Tower in Admiralty during the Umbrella Movement protests in October 2014.

He was originally convicted of common assault and sentenced to seven days in jail, but the conviction was overturned earlier this month after the authenticity of the picture was questioned in court.

“The prosecution could have asked and I could have provided original files, and a dozen pictures taken before and after the specific photo in question, which would have clearly shown it was not a set up,” Alex Ogle told HKFP.

Man Ho-chuen. File Photo: Apple Daily.

In handing down the judgment on Monday, Madam Justice Judianna Barnes said that the protester did not report the matter to the police until after someone showed him a picture on the internet.

She also said that the prosecution did not summon any witnesses to the incident, nor did they summon the photographer who could have verified the image.

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Karen Cheung

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.