Retired cop Frankly Chu has been convicted of assault occasioning bodily harm after striking a pedestrian on Nathan Road, Mong Kok during the Umbrella Movement protests.

Principal magistrate Bina Chainrai found Chu guilty at the Eastern Magistrates’ Court on Monday. Chu will be held in custody until his sentencing on December 29.

Frankly Chu
Frankly Chu King-wai.

Chu had pleaded not guilty to the charge. 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.

Counsel for Chu argued that he sincerely believed in his duty to defend the rule of law and prevent the Mong Kok occupation area from being taken back by protesters, RTHK reported. The defence did not dispute that Chu hit a man named Osman Cheng with a baton.

The magistrate said that Cheng was a reliable and honest witness. The court found that Cheng was leaving the scene at the time and did not engage in violent acts, nor was he carrying any weapons.

eastern law court
File photo: Eastern Law Courts Building.

The magistrate said Chu had no reason to hit Cheng with a baton and that his actions were unreasonable and unacceptable.

Chu was charged in March, more than 850 days after the incident took place. Earlier this year, Cheng’s lawyers threatened a private prosecution suit if the justice secretary continued to take no action on the case.

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.