Seven police officers were convicted of assault on Tuesday against activist Ken Tsang during the pro-democracy Occupy protests in 2014.
They were convicted of the charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and face a maximum of three years in prison.
Constable Chan Siu-tan was convicted of an additional charge of common assault for slapping Tsang twice on his face inside the Central Police Station. The offence carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison.
All seven policemen were originally charged with the more serious offence of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, but were acquitted.
The officers avoided the large group of journalists waiting in front of the court by taking the side door. They all wore the same outfit – blue blazers and white shirts with black and red ties. Tsang was not present at the verdict.
Outside the Wanchai court, pro-police protesters chanted against Tsang, a former member of the pro-democracy Civic Party: “Civic Party messes up Hong Kong! Support the seven police officers – they aren’t guilty for enforcing the law!”
Pro-police figures including Leticia Lee of the Justice Alliance Party and Fu Chun-Chung of the Defend Hong Kong Campaign were at the scene.
“Look at these rioters who don’t abide by the law… these yellow ribbons [pro-democracy supporters] have damaged our rule of law and economy,” they shouted.
Pro-democracy protesters were also present, calling for the conviction of the seven policemen.
A pro-democracy activist surnamed Chao told HKFP that the ruling was just. “I think the ruling is okay – they face a maximum of three years in prison for something they did in a span of a few minutes,” he said.
“I was also beaten up by police – even worse than Ken Tsang – during the Occupy protests,” added Chao. “But no one filmed it so there was no justice. Self-sacrifice is expected if you choose to get involved.”
Before the verdict was announced, a small scuffle broke out between the two sides. It was broken up by police officers.
The seven defendants were remanded in custody. Judge David Dufton will hand down the sentence at a later date.
Additional reporting by Elson Tong.