Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui has been sentenced to 240 hours community service and will pay a HK$3,800 fine over an incident last April where he snatched a government officer’s phone.

A magistrate last month found Hui guilty of common assault, obstructing a public officer and accessing a computer with criminal or dishonest intent.

Last April, Hui snatched a phone belonging to an executive officer who was tasked with keeping track of lawmakers’ whereabouts in the Legislative Council complex. Hui complained at the time that the government’s “paparazzi team” was encroaching on the legislature and violated lawmakers’ privacy.

Ted Hui. Photo:

Outside court, Hui said he was grateful that he was not given a jail sentence. He said the focus should now be on the upcoming extradition bill, and he would not stop protesting inside the legislature.

“This may be our last important battle,” he said.

The executive officer, Christina Leung, told the court in March that she was “shocked and at a loss” that Hui took her phone, which he then examined inside a men’s bathroom. Leung said that she was given the phone on the day of the incident by a government staff member, and the phone had a Google spreadsheet to record the locations of lawmakers.

The government often send staff to keep tabs on lawmakers and rally them to vote for certain legislation.

Executive Officer Christina Leung.

The magistrate had said last month that a jail sentence was on the cards.

A lawmaker could be disqualified if they miss meetings for three consecutive months; they can also be removed if they are jailed for over a month and if two-thirds of the Legislative Council vote in favour of impeachment.

Hui’s membership in the Democratic Party was suspended following the incident, and an investigation committee has been set up by the legislature.

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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.