A retired police officer accused of assaulting a pedestrian during the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy protests has said he had no political motive and believed he was executing his duties, a court has heard.

Frankly Chu King-wai, 57, has been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm for allegedly striking a pedestrian on Nathan Road, Mong Kok during the Umbrella Movement protests. The case is being heard before principal magistrate Bina Chainrai at the Eastern Magistrates’ Court.

frankly chu

Chu – who has  pleaded not guilty – was charged this March, more than 850 days after the incident took place. A number of videos taken on November 26, 2014 appear to show pedestrians being hit with a baton, without prior warning, as part of the police operation to disperse crowds that had gathered in the area.

The prosecution submitted evidence of Chu’s statements given to the police under caution. Chu had said that he was legally exercising his powers, and that he honestly believed he had been executing his duties in his actions against the victim.

Chu said that – in order to prevent crime – there was no other option under the circumstances, adding that he had used appropriate force because protesters had attempted to barge a police cordon. He added that he had no political motive.

Frankly Chu
Frankly Chu King-wai.

The prosecution also submitted news footage from Ming Pao, DBC and Apple Daily, as well as a police baton as evidence.

According to Stand News, Osman Cheng, the victim of Chu’s alleged attack, told the court that he had been passing through the area with his female friend when he was struck in the back of his neck. Cheng had yelled out, “I’m only passing by!”

The trial will continue on Tuesday.

Karen cheung hong kong

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.