The High Court has heard the appeal application of one of the police officers convicted of assaulting democracy activist Ken Tsang during the pro-democracy Occupy protests in 2014.

In February, the District Court found seven police officers guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. They were given jail sentences of two years, prompting a closed-door mass rally by the police in their support. All seven appealed against their convictions and sentences. They were granted bail pending appeal.

The seven defendants included police chief inspector Wong Cho-shing, 48, senior inspector Lau Cheuk-ngai, 29, detective sergeant Pak Wing-bun, 42, and constables Lau Hing-pui, 38, Chan Siu-tan, 31, Kwan Ka-ho, 32, and Wong Wai-ho, 36.

high court political prisoner occupy activist protest rally democracy
Photo: In-Media.

On Thursday, chief inspector Wong Cho-shing appeared before Justice Michael Victor Lunn, vice-president of the Court of Appeal, over his application for leave to appeal. Wong, dressed in a suit and a striped tie, was greeted by several supporters holding placards as he arrived in court.

Wong is represented by Tim Owen QC, Clive Grossman SC and barrister Benson Tsoi. In court, Owen argued that the authenticity of the footage submitted should be contested. This includes looking at the methods used to test the authenticity of the footage and whether they are supported by the law, as well as whether there are any reasonable doubts about the footage.

Owens also questioned why the court did not summon the photographer who witnessed the incident, and only asked TVB’s production manager David Wong Kwong-hoi to testify, RTHK reported.

wong cho-shing
Wong Cho-shing. Photo: Stand News.

However, the Department of Justice, represented by Jonathan Caplan QC and David Leung Cheuk-yin SC, argued that tests involved only questions of fact and not legal arguments. They also said that – based on the clip itself and other circumstantial evidence – it was entirely admissible. According to case precedents, if the court is unable to call the videographer of the clip to testify, the clip can be still verified with other evidence, the prosecution argued.

The judgment will be handed down at a later date.

ken tsang
Ken Tsang. File Photo: Cloud.

The high-profile attack on the pro-democracy activist took place near the government headquarters in Tamar Park, Admiralty on October 15, 2014. Judge Dufton, who handed down the sentences, had said the court needed to “make an example” to ensure that no police officers would attempt to commit such an offence in the future.

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.