A pro-democracy Hong Kong lawmaker has expressed fury after a court rejected his attempt to bring private prosecutions over last year’s anti-government protests. The cases involved police officer who shot a protester and a taxi driver accused of ramming into demonstrators.

The court’s decision Monday followed an intervention by the Justice Department (DoJ) to quash the cases. One case brought by Ted Hui involved a traffic branch sergeant who hit a protester with a live round during a street clash last November 11 in Sai Wan Ho. He survived.

West Kowloon Magistrates Courts. File photo: HKFP/Ellie Ng.

The other case involved a taxi driver accused of ramming his vehicle into the crowd.

After the Kowloon West Magistrates’ Court handed down its decisions on Monday, the Democratic Party lawmaker told reporters: “I am disappointed at today’s judgement and of course, I am extremely furious about the DoJ’s decision to intervene.”

The rulings were a “disaster” to the lives of the victims in the cases. “They sacrificed so much. Now that decision today to drop the cases [means] that they can’t follow up any more.”

The charges against the policeman included shooting with intent to do grievous bodily harm, discharging ammunition with reckless disregard for the safety of others and handling weapons in a manner likely to injure, or endanger the safety of other person.

Ted Hui. Photo: Legislative Council, via Flickr.

Pro-Beijing lawmaker and lawyer Junius Ho, who represented the taxi driver, applied for an order of costs against Hui.

Victor Yeung , the lawyer who represented Hui in the shooting case, said the withdrawal of charges was groundless and contradictory. He pointed out that the Eastern Magistrates’ Court earlier recognised that there had been a case to answer.

“The DoJ said there was an independent investigation conducted by the police which they refused to disclose in court. They are depriving the public of their right to know… This is a case that involves the public interest,” Yeung told reporters.

Teresa Cheng. File photo: GocHK.

After examining the rulings, Hui said he would file for a judicial review of them and the justice department’s intervention would not stop from exercising his right to lodge private prosecutions in the face of injustice.

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Rachel Wong

Rachel Wong previously worked as a documentary producer and academic researcher. She has a BA in Comparative Literature and European Studies from the University of Hong Kong. She has contributed to A City Made by People and The Funambulist, and has an interest in cultural journalism and gender issues.