A student has been found not guilty of assaulting a police officer who claimed he punched him in the face during a protest in Mong Kok after the clearing of the Occupy camp.
Ho Pak-hei,17, was charged with assaulting a police officer, but a witness video contradicted the charges.
At Kowloon City Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, Magistrate Eric Cheung slammed police constable Lau Kam-wing for failing to deliver accurate evidence.
Lau accused the teenager of hitting him in the face from the front when he was carrying out crowd-control duties in Argyle Street on Nov. 28, SCMP reports.
In his written statement, Lau claimed Ho pulled his arm backwards in a catapulting action, before punching him.
But a video shot by defence witness Yeung Chui-ping, a retiree, showed Ho had been behind Lau the whole time and didn’t throw any punches. Yeung and her husband Helbert Lau were at the scene to witness the protests first-hand.
When confronted with the eivdence in court, the plaintiff responded saying he is not a “human recorder” and could not remember the details.
Cheung criticised Lau, the sole prosecution witness, saying the video proved he had gotten angry and chased Ho for no good reason.
“The case concerned the court because … as a duty officer, [Lau] should know assault accusations are ones that are easy to be raised, but hard to defend,” Cheung added.
He suggested further investigation into the matter as a complaint against police may be needed.
Helbert Lau, Yeung’s husband, who was also present at the hearing, told reporters was happy with the not guilty verdict, adding that it proves Hong Kong has a fair judicial system.
“We just wanted to exercise our civil responsibilities”, he said.
Yet Lau is concerned that the case indicates the extent of the abuse of power by police.
The couple hopes they have inspired more people to come forward “to tell the truth.
Photo: Coconuts Media