Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Vindication for Beaten Occupy Protester

Ken Tsang outside the court today flanked by supporters and yellow umbrellas
Finally over two years later, vindication for the Occupy Movement with seven police officers convicted of kicking, punching and stepping on activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu after he was arrested and handcuffed for assaulting police.

The seven originally faced one joint count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, but were found not guilty. Instead they were convicted of lesser, alternative charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Seven police officers were convicted of assaulting Tsang
That charge carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison, while common assault is one year.

The police officers will be sentenced this Friday.

Judge David Dufton's verdict caps one of the most controversial incidents during the 79-day protest. During the trial the court heard Tsang, 41, testify how on October 15, 2014, he had poured liquid onto some police officers during a clearance operation in Admiralty.

He was arrested and zip-tied, but instead of being brought to one of the coaches to transport arrested protesters, he was taken to a substation and assaulted.

On October 14, 2014, they dragged Tsang to a substation
The 224-page judgment found that there Tsang was dumped to the ground and immediately assaulted, which resulted in injuries to his face, neck, shoulder, flank, chest and back.

Part of the assault was captured on video by several media that defense lawyers had tried to dismiss as unauthentic evidence.

While a chief inspector and senior inspector did not actually take part in the assault, but watched on, Judge Dufton pointed out: "Every police officer has a duty to intervene to prevent the commission of a crime, even by fellow police officers. A police officer's duty is to keep the peace. If a police officer stands by and watches his colleague beat up a suspected person, his failure to intervene is evidence of encouragement to carry out the assault."

They were captured on video assaulting Tsang
Interestingly none of the seven officers presented evidence during the trial, though several mitigation letters written by other police officers and family members of the seven were submitted to the court during mitigation.

The police also spent a staggering HK$9 million on defense legal fees, and the force has raised over HK$10 million if the seven decide to appeal.


2 comments:

  1. I hope the guilty men get the maximum sentencing so that the lesson really is sent out that even the police are NOT above the law.

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    1. Hi YTSL -- the judge reminded the police what their duties are -- that in itself is a very stern message... but they may appeal...

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