Democracy activist Howard Lam claimed he was drugged, abducted and tortured by mainland Chinese agents in 2017, but prosecutors have disputed his version of events on Monday.
Lam was charged with knowingly making a false report to the police, which comes with a maximum fine of HK$1,000 and six months in jail. Lam has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors argued at trial that Lam had searched the term “chloroform” – a chemical compound that knocks people out – on his phone before claiming he had been abducted.
A man resembling Lam, wearing a cap and a face mask, was also seen taking a minibus to Sai Kung on the day Lam was supposedly abducted, the prosecutors added.
On August 11, 2017, Lam said he was abducted and assaulted by suspected mainland agents in Hong Kong. Lam claimed that the men seized him in Mongkok, inserted 21 staples into his legs, before leaving him on a Sai Kung beach.
Less than a week later, Lam was arrested and detained by police for allegedly providing false information. The arrest came around three hours after investigative news agency Factwire published CCTV clips appearing to contradict Lam’s version of events.
Lam, a founding member of the Democratic Party, maintained that he was “an innocent victim.”
Lam’s trial began on Friday, with the prosecution calling five police officers as witnesses and two other experts.
Police-constable Wong Kai-pui testified on Friday that he spent five hours gathering evidence from Lam on the day following the alleged abduction.
Wong said that Lam had told him about the alleged captors during the interview. He added that Lam mentioned receiving a phone call telling him not to send a signed photograph of Lionel Messi to Liu Xia, widow of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.
On Monday, police officer Lam Kam-wa told the court that a man resembling Howard Lam spent two and a half hours in Mong Kok on the day of the alleged abduction. The man was walking around and bought football jerseys, before taking a minibus bound for Sai Kung.
The man resembling Howard Lam then returned to his residence in Ma On Shan at around 2am the next day, after getting cash at an ATM and buying cigarettes at a convenience store.
The prosecution said officer Lam had watched over 1,500 hours of surveillance footage over a period of months before testifying.
The trial continues on Tuesday.
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