The “Solarpeak” Support Group, which aimed to provide assistance to police officers involved in the pro-democracy Occupy protests last year, will not be sponsoring the trial of the seven officers in the Ken Tsang beating case, a spokesperson told Apple Daily.
The group was jointly set up by the Hong Kong Police Inspectors’ Association and the Junior Police Officers’ Association. It arose from the police Occupy operation, “Stay United and Professional in Handling Illegal Occupation: Operation Solarpeak”, and reportedly raised HK$10 million.
Junior Police Officers’ Association chairman Joe Chan Cho-kwong said that the group would not be sponsoring the court fees of the seven officers who accused of beating Civic Party member Ken Tsang Kin-chiu at a “dark corner” in Tamar, Admiralty during the protests last October. According to Apple Daily, the group previously met – unofficially – with the seven officers, informing them of the decision.
“There’s the problem of champerty and maintenance, and also the fact that the fees will likely be quite extravagant, since it’s seven people in total. The HK$10 million won’t even be enough, and they understand our position,” Chan said. He also said that the HK$10 million was meant for all the police officers on duty during Occupy, not just the seven accused.
Aside from the officers involved in the Ken Tsang case, Chan said that there were several others that required assistance. However, he said that if the seven officers made a request and it was found that they were in need of financial help, the group would provide appropriate assistance.
Earlier, it had been reported that, although the seven officers were suspended, they had been receiving full pay up till the point that they were charged. They will still receive half of their usual salary until a verdict is reached.
The officers, who had been charged with wounding or striking with intent to do grievous bodily harm, appeared at the Eastern Magistrates’ Court on Thursday afternoon, where they were granted bail of HK$1,000 each. The hearing adjourned until November 17.