Former lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung has been acquitted of common assault in a clash with a pro-Beijing protester last year at the legislature’s demonstration area.

The incident occurred at around 10:45 am on April 12, 2017, before Leung was disqualified as a lawmaker. Lau Pit-chuen, a 71-year-old member of “Treasure Group,” which often appears at protests, claimed Leung kicked him.

Leung, 62, was arrested in April this year, and later pleaded not guilty. Magistrate Li Chi-ho on Friday ruled that Leung was not guilty of common assault.

Leung Kwok-hung. File Photo:

The magistrate ruled that, according to the footage played in court, Leung’s leg did move towards the left leg of Lau, but it was not certain whether there was any contact.

Li said that Lau had insisted his right leg was injured, which was incoherent with the footage and the medical report in which Lau claimed his left leg was injured.

Li also did not accept the statement by a witness, since the witness admitted that he had discussed the case with Lau.

Lau Pit-chuen. File

Leung said after the ruling that he believed he was prosecuted by the government because he has been critical of the establishment and pro-Beijing camp.

“I understand that those in power would seek interests for themselves using their power. But if those in power persecute others in order to protect their interests, even if I understand their intention, it is unacceptable,” he said.

“If people like me have been persecuted like this, common people who have no power and no attention from the public will only suffer worse,” he added.

He said that he suffered political persecution stemming from the “twisted system” in which public opinion cannot be heard: “I know that I will be brought to court again in the future.”

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.