Pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Pao has claimed that localist figure Edward Leung Tin-kei provoked one of its reporters in a scuffle on Saturday.
Monday’s Ta Kung Pao contained a story about Leung “provoking and hitting” the reporter on the front page, below a story on his “lavish” lifestyle.
Leung claimed last week that he was followed by a car for a month. Two people in the car told him they were from a pro-Beijing newspaper when he confronted them.
On Saturday, Leung was involved in a scuffle inside Tai Koo MTR station. He claimed a “paparazzo” from Ta Kung Pao had been following him and taking photographs of him on the street. The man allegedly provoked Leung by commenting on his family members and threatening to release their personal details to the public.
The Ta Kung Pao report on Monday claimed a reporter attempted to ask Leung to respond to findings made by the newspaper, but Leung swore at him and pushed him. The paper also claimed that Leung bumped into the reporter again at Tai Koo station, provoked him and swore at him. An eyewitness told Tai Kung Pao that Edward Leung started using physical violence first.
The newspaper posted a 33-second edited video of the incident, much shorter than a version posted by Next Magazine on Saturday, which was six minutes and 42 seconds long and sent to the magazine by a reader.
In Next Magazine’s video, when Leung began filming the reporter with a mobile phone, the man – standing several metres away – cried that he was “beaten up by Leung.”
As the pair drew closer, the man seized Leung’s phone and hurled it away. They then aimed several punches at each other before being separated by station assistants.
An editorial from Ta Kung Pao criticised Leung for attacking the reporter, saying that it was “a suppression of press freedom.”
“The ugly show from Edward Leung inside the Tai Koo MTR station… truly showed the hypocritical and brutal side of ‘Hong Kong independence’ [advocates],” it read. “Edward Leung unreasonably refused to answer questions from the reporter, followed the reporter with a group later, attacked him violently when the reporter was off duty and dining with family members, causing injuries to the reporter and making him fight back in self-defence.”
Dot Dot News, a page affiliated with Ta Kung Pao, posted an interview with the reporter on Sunday night.
The reporter, surnamed Lo, showed his injuries and he said he was “very worried,” as details of him and his family were posted online after the fight.
“He threatened me, and incited netizens to [post my details], I am very worried… I just wanted to report the news,” he told Dot Dot News.
The police received a report of a fight at the Tai Koo MTR station on Saturday night, but have not made any arrests.