A government executive officer has told the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts that she was shocked and “at a loss” when lawmaker Ted Hui snatched her phone at the legislature.

Pro-democracy lawmaker Hui has denied three charges after he allegedly snatched a phone belonging to an executive officer who was tasked with keeping track of lawmakers’ whereabouts at the legislature. The charges include obtaining access to a computer with a view to dishonest gain for oneself or another, common assault, and obstructing a public officer in the performance of a public duty. Hui had denied all charges.

Christina Leung Ngok-sze, a senior executive officer of the Security Bureau’s Narcotics Division Team, appeared at court for Hui’s trial on Monday morning.

Christina Leung Ngok-sze.

Leung said that, on April 24 last year when the incident occurred, she was on duty for a government response team at the Legislative Council to track the whereabouts of lawmakers attending a bills committee on the joint checkpoint arrangement for the high-speed rail link, RTHK reported.

Leung said she joined the team because she received an email from the Security Bureau last March asking departments to send officers to sign up.

On the day of the incident, Leung was given the phone by a staff member of the Transport and Housing Bureau. The phone had a Google spreadsheet to record the locations of lawmakers.

Leung said she saw Hui at around 9:40am, and he asked what she was doing. Leung answered that she was performing her duties.

She said Hui took a document she was carrying with lawmakers’ faces, names and political party backgrounds. She said she was shocked as she did not expect Hui to do so.

Ted Hui.

She said Hui then asked if the phone she was holding was hers or the government’s. Leung said she refused to give it to Hui, but he was “closing in” on her and grabbed her phone. Hui then quickly left.

Leung said she chased after Hui asking him to return the phone: “please give my phone back to me,” Leung recalled saying at the time. But Hui entered a male bathroom and Leung stopped her pursuit.

Leung also said she notified other members of her team that her phone had been snatched. She later received a notification telling the team to meet up and remove the spreadsheet for recording lawmakers’ whereabouts used on that day.

Mark Fu, a political assistant to the Secretary for Transport and Housing, was able to retrieve the snatched phone and asked Leung if it was hers.

Leung said she was “shocked and at a loss” after the incident, and had to leave the Legislative Council at 10am that day, without finishing the day’s work.

Meanwhile, the trial was suspended for a short while at around 11am, owing to a fire alarm going off because of smoke in a female toilet on the sixth floor of the court. The court was evacuated, until people were allowed to enter again at around 11:30am.

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.