A senior inspector has said that he was negligent and mistakenly relied on what he was told by the officer in charge when he incorrectly identified himself in a witness statement, the court heard on the third day of the trial of Civic Party member Ken Tsang Kin-chiu on Wednesday.

Tsang, 40, has been accused of assaulting police officers with liquid from the embankment of the underpass at Lung Wo Road, and then resisting arrest during the pro-democracy Occupy protests in October 2014. He has denied all charges.

Ken Tsang. File photo: Todd Darling/HKFP.

At the trial, the admissibility of ATV news footage purporting to depict Tsang being taken away by police has been called into question. Senior inspector Wat Chin-cheuk told the court that he had been dispersing protesters at Tamar Park when he witnessed four officers attempting to subdue a man, at which point he went forward to help and then handcuff him. Wat also said that the ATV news footage more or less depicted what he saw, Ming Pao reported.

However, the counsel for the defence said that there were only four, not five men shown in the ATV footage. Wat said that an officer had left the scene and he did not know why he was not depicted in the clip, Commercial Radio reported. The defence then argued that Wat only added the information about an officer leaving when he realised that his statement did not match the footage. However, Wat denied this.

Kowloon City Law Courts Building. Photo: Brandon Stark.

‘Mistook’ colleague for self

The counsel for the defence said that Wat had accidentally mistaken another police inspector, Fu Chun-yip, for himself last September when giving his witness statement, and only corrected himself after the fourth statement. Wat said that he had been negligent and that he mistakenly believed what he was told by the officer in charge of the case.

On Tuesday, the defence argued Wat and Fu had mistakenly signed each other’s statements and that Fu had not read it prior to signing, claims which he denied.

The trial continues at the Kowloon Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

In another ongoing court case, seven police officers are facing charges for allegedly kicking and punching Tsang in a “dark corner” in Tamar, Admiralty on the same day. They will stand trial this year and have pleaded not guilty.

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.