One of two suspects in a knife attack against Kevin Lau, former chief editor of Hong Kong investigative newspaper Ming Pao, told the High Court on Friday that the public security officers in mainland China beat a confession out of him due to pressure from the central government to solve the case.
Kevin Lau was attacked in a brutal street stabbing in broad daylight in February last year. He suffered serious wounds to his legs and back while the perpetrators quickly escaped on a motorcycle.
Suspects Wong Chi-wah and Yip Kim-wah, both 39, each deny one count of causing grievous bodily harm and stealing a motorcycle during the assault, reports the SCMP.
Both accuse the officers who arrested and detained them in China of foul play.
Ten days after the attack, Wong and his friend Yip were approached by a group of plain-clothed officers in Guangdong.
Wong says the officers pushed him to the ground, tied him up with his belt and stepped on his head. He claims he was subjected to repeated punches throughout the night until he gave an (allegedly false) confession.
Yip, in his testimony on Thursday, said he was also beaten into confessing to the crime.
However, prosecutor Nicholas Adams claimed police found a photo of Lau on Wong’s phone. He suggested the photo was so Wong could identify Lau for the attack, but the defendant suggested that it is “possible” public security officers planted it.
Wong said officers told him: “The central government is very serious about the case. It must have someone admitting to it.”
The attack came just weeks after Lau was removed from his position in Ming Pao and replaced by a Malaysian editor viewed as pro-Beijing. Lau’s stabbing intensified fears over press freedom in Hong Kong, but officials have yet to determine whether the attack was related to Lau’s journalism work.
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