Derogatory graffiti criticising embattled Hong Kong Magistrate Stanley Ho Chun-yiu over his protest-related rulings appeared in Kowloon City on Tuesday evening.
The former Eastern Court magistrate has come under fire from pro-Beijing figures accusing him of bias in rulings related to last year’s pro-democracy protests. The movement was triggered by a government attempt to draw up an extradition agreement with mainland China.
The red graffiti in both simplified and traditional Chinese appeared on the walls outside Comfort Court and Marconi Court on Marconi Road and Broadcast Drive.
“Dog official Stanley Ho Chun-yiu, police arrest people, dog official releases people, lawless,” one read, while another contained an expletive.
At around 1 am on Wednesday, police also found A4 sheets of paper scattered near Broadcast Drive and Junction Road, which contained Ho’s image alongside deprecating remarks. Officers obscured the lettering on the walls with black covering.
The force has identified four men as suspects. No arrests have been made yet. The case has been classified as criminal damage following a preliminary investigation and handed over to the Kowloon City District Investigation Team Eight for follow-up.
The suspects boarded a white private car containing one other individual afterwards and fled the scene before midnight, local media reported.
Earlier this month, the judiciary dismissed complaints against Ho after pro-Beijing figures and Chinese state media accused him of letting protesters “off the hook.”
One of the contested cases involved 34-year-old engineer Chan Man-ho, who Ho cleared of “possessing anything with intent to destroy or damage property” in August after the magistrate said he did not feel “safe” relying on evidence submitted by the police witness.
Chief Magistrate Victor So concluded the complaints from members of the public against six cases Ho adjudicated were unsubstantiated. He said the magistrate did not make any remarks that showed a political inclination or indicated an apparent bias against police.
Beijing-owned newspapers Ta Kung Pao and Wen Wei Po have also openly criticised Ho, saying his acquittal of “black violence defendants” was a “humiliation” to the city’s judicial system.