Judge David Dufton has accepted evidence concerning activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu’s identification of suspects in January 2015, as the trial of seven police officers continued on Tuesday morning.
The seven officers allegedly assaulted Tsang in October 2014 during the pro-democracy Occupy protests. Each of the officers was charged with wounding or striking with intent to do grievous bodily harm. One of them was charged with an extra count of common assault. All have pleaded not guilty.
Priscilia Lam Tsz-ying, a lawyer for one of the defendants, argued on Monday against the use of such evidence, saying it was unfair because Tsang admitted that he saw the defendants’ photographs in the media.
She also said that the recognition procedure used by the police was unfair to the defendant because they had asked Tsang to identify the defendant through direct confrontation. The procedure, she said, should only be used if the other three options – which include group identification – were unfeasible. She said that the police officer in charge of the identification process had suddenly given up on group identification.
Dufton also ruled that the evidence was prima facie, meaning that it will be used to support the judgement set to be handed down in court, unless contradictory evidence is presented in a rebuttal. The defendants’ lawyers said that the defence will not call for any witnesses and will not be offering evidence in court.
The group of seven consists of a chief inspector, a senior inspector and five junior officers. The officers are from the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau, the Kwun Tong and Kowloon City Regional Police departments, and the Kowloon Regional Headquarters.
The trial is adjourned and will continue on December 5, when closing speeches will be given. The defendants are allowed to remain on bail.