A court is reviewing a request by the police for five media outlets to submit raw footage of Civic Party member Ken Tsang Kin-chiu and seven policemen accused of assault on October 15, 2014. As of 1pm Friday, TVB has rejected the request as Judge Judianna Barnes Wai-ling questioned the necessity of the evidence.
Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung applied for a Production Order to obtain around 23 minutes of raw footage, involving Tsang allegedly spraying liquid onto Lung Wo Road from Tamar Park and seven policemen allegedly assaulting him shortly afterwards in a dark corner, RTHK reported. Lo has also requested the identities of the reporters who shot the tape.
Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions representing Department of Justice (DoJ) David Leung Cheuk-yin reportedly said that the footage could be used as court evidence for both of the two cases – Tsang assaulting police officers, and policemen assaulting him. He added that the defence intends to challenge whether the clips should be used as court evidence, hence it is desirable to obtain footage from both incidents and the identities of the journalists.
TVB rejected the request in court, saying that the tapes which were broadcast were only slightly edited and that reporters need to be protected, especially after the Mong Kok unrest last Monday where some reporters were attacked, according to RTHK.
Judge Barnes said that the timing of the request was late as it came after the charges against Tsang and the policemen had been submitted, reported Apple Daily. She said there is no need for the media outlets to submit the footage, as Department of Justice already had sufficient evidence. Plus, TVB’s news production manager Wong Kwong-hoi had pledged to verify the authenticity of the footages on court.
The five media outlets are TVB, Apple Daily, i-Cable, ATV and PCCW Media Ltd. ATV neither submitted documents nor sent representatives to court.