Retired police superintendent Franklin Chu King-wai has pleaded not guilty to charges of assault for allegedly hitting a pedestrian with a baton during the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy protests.
The West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts heard Chu’s case on Friday morning. The 57-year-old pleaded not guilty to the charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The prosecution said that it would summon 13 witnesses, and produce one cautioned police statement as well as four video clips, reported Apple Daily.
The defence claimed that the public’s view had been biased against their client owing to earlier press coverage of the case, which reported Chu as saying that he had used a baton as an “extension” of his arm to “pat the complainant’s back.” The defence said that Chu had made the statement to a senior officer whilst not under police caution in April 2015.
The defence said that it would retain the reserve the right to either lodge a judicial review against the prosecution of Chu, or apply for a permanent stay of proceedings.
After the judge adjourned the case for a pre-trial review on June 9, Chu was released on bail.
The offence carries a maximum penalty of three years of imprisonment under the Offences Against The Person Ordinance.
Outside the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on Friday morning, around two dozen pro-police demonstrators held signs and waved placards in support of Chu.
Over 850 days
Chu had been charged on Monday, over 850 days after the alleged assault took place on November 26, 2014 in Mong Kok – one of the locations of the Occupy protests.
Chu then officially retired from the police force in July 2015.
Last month, the lawyers of Osman Cheng – who was allegedly assaulted during the incident – issued an ultimatum to the government, threatening to pursue a private prosecution if it did not press charges against Chu within two months.