A Hong Kong court rejected on Wednesday the appeal of a former pro-democracy lawmaker against his conviction of assault for using a loudspeaker near a police officer.

Au Nok-hin was convicted of two charges of assault last April and sentenced to 140 hours of community service for using a loudspeaker near two officers during a protest in July 2019.

Au Nok-hin. Photo: Studio Incendo.

Hong Kong’s High Court judge Maggie Poon upheld the original verdict by the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Court, and will release the judgement at a later date.

Au’s representative argued that Au hit the police officer’s shield with his microphone because Au wanted to notify the officer that people had fallen down behind him, and that the action was not hostile.

Poon said that Au’s hostility towards the police could be seen through his constant shouting of “damn black cop” and “Yi Jin son,” a phrase used to make fun of police for their low education level.

“Yi Jin” refers to a a diploma programme offered to secondary 6 graduate and adult learners. One of the programmes, “Police Force Practice,” prepares students for the application process as well as the daily work of the police force.

Poon added that the court knew full well what such terms meant, and one should “not think that judges and the court are in an ivory tower.”

Au did not appear in court on Wednesday because he is still under coronavirus quarantine after returning from Japan, but he said on Facebook ahead of the hearing that he believed that the public already had an opinion on what was right and wrong.

He added that he had already completed over 100 hours of community service, and had not been able to do the remaining hours mainly because of the pandemic.

“I believe that the public already has an opinion on the rights and wrongs; there’s no use saying more. After all there are a lot of trials in these couple of months,” Au’s Facebook post read.

“…There are also a lot of other cases tomorrow, why don’t we care more about other friends, thank you all.”

Au faces an appeal on his sentence from the Department of Justice, to be heard in late March.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.