The Court of First Instance has rejected the Department of Justice’s application to go to the top court over activist Avery Ng’s “smelly fish sandwich” case.

In September 2016, Ng threw a “smelly fish sandwich” at then-Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying during a protest. Leung was on his way to vote in the Legislative Council election and ducked as police officer Lau Wing-kwan blocked the incoming sandwich with his arm.

Ng was found guilty of assault in 2017 and given a three-week prison sentence, but he was released on bail pending an appeal. Ng won the appeal in March this year, overturning the conviction.

Avery Ng. Photo:

At the time, High Court judge Joseph Yau said it was “beyond question” that Ng’s actions constituted common assault against Leung. However, the Department of Justice had chosen to charge Ng with assaulting the police officer, instead of assaulting Leung. Yau said the Department of Justice failed to prove Ng assaulted Lau.

The Department of Justice then filed an application to the Court of First Instance to go to the Court of Final Appeal over the case.

On Thursday, judge Yau rejected the request, saying that the Department of Justice has the responsibility to prove all elements of the charge beyond reasonable doubt. He said there was not a point of law of great and general importance to be discussed at the top court.

File photo: Holmes Chan/HKFP.

Outside court, Ng said the Department of Justice had failed in its attempt to oppress him. He thanked judge Yau for the judgment.

“The Department of Justice has been too arrogant with its selective prosecution,” he said.

He added that the opposition still has opportunities for appeal in the Hong Kong judicial system, but people will have to face the mainland Chinese legal system, if the government’s controversial extradition bill is passed.

The Hong Kong Free Press #PressForFreedom 2019 Funding Drive seeks to raise HK$1.2m to support our non-profit newsroom and dedicated team of multi-media, multi-lingual reporters. HKFP is backed by readers, run by journalists and is immune to political and commercial pressure. This year’s critical fundraiser will provide us with the essential funds to continue our work into next year.

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.