Chinese state media journalist Kong Linlin has denied common assault after she allegedly slapped a Conservative Party member last September.

Kong, a CCTV journalist, stands accused of slapping Conservative Party member Enoch Lieu twice at the party’s annual conference in Birmingham. The incident took place during a fringe event discussing human rights and democracy in Hong Kong that was co-organised by NGO Hong Kong Watch.

The case of Kong, 49, was heard at the Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday. Kong resides in King’s Cross in London according to court records.

Kong Linlin
CCTV UK-based reporter Kong Linlin. Photo: Screenshot.

Lieu told the court that he was left in shock after the alleged assault, according to the BBC. He said at the time of the incident that Kong had accused panellists at the conference of trying to separate China, and shouted that they were “puppets.” Lieu asked her to leave.

“While I was continuing to request her to leave, at that point she slapped me on my left cheek,” he said.

Timothy Raggatt QC, representing Kong, said Lieu had changed his statement to police after realising he had lied about the incident, according to BBC. “You were the problem, weren’t you?” Raggatt asked.

Birmingham Magistrates Court
Birmingham Magistrates Court. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Oosoom at English Wikipedia/cc-by-sa 3.0.

“What had happened was that this lady had been shouting out questions to the panel – journalists do that in order to get information,” he said. “You stepped in and confronted her. The simple reality is that you started to manhandle her.”

Lieu denied Raggatt’s allegations.

An arrest warrant was issued for Kong in April. The trial continues.

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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.