Hong Kong Law & Crime

Court to hear bail request of police inspector jailed for beating pro-democracy activist Ken Tsang

The Court of Appeal is to hear a bail application by senior police inspector Lau Cheuk-ngai, one of the seven officers found guilty in February of assaulting activist Ken Tsang during the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy protests.

The hearing is scheduled for June 28 and is expected to last for three hours. The other six convicted officers have yet to request bail.

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The seven officers were sent to the court for their sentencing hearing in February. Photo: HKFP/Ellie Ng.

The 29-year-old inspector and his six colleagues have been serving jail time after being sentenced to two years behind bars in February. They have since appealed against their convictions and are awaiting a hearing.

Lau pleaded in mitigation earlier that the conviction was already his biggest punishment, as it had ruined his police career, Stand News reported at the time. He added that his wife was expected to give birth in July, and the trial had put his family under stress.

The officers were convicted of hitting and kicking Tsang at a substation at Tamar Park in November 2014. Constable Chan Siu-tan, 31, was convicted of an additional charge of common assault for slapping Tsang twice on his face inside the Central Police Station. For this, he was sentenced to one month in jail, served concurrently with his two-year term.

In handing down the sentence, Judge David Dufton said: “The defendants damaged Hong Kong’s reputation in the international community… There was no justification to take Tsang to the substation for the assault.”

He said the court needed to “make an example” to ensure that no officers would attempt to commit such an offence in the future.

Some have called for amnesty for the seven officers following the sentencing. Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said earlier that the chief executive would not use his power to pardon the officers. He declined to comment further on the case.

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Ken Tsang. File Photo: HKFP/Ellie Ng.

Besides Lau and Chan, the other five convicted officers were police chief inspector Wong Cho-shing, 48, detective sergeant Pak Wing-bun, 42, and constables Lau Hing-pui, 38, Kwan Ka-ho, 32, and Wong Wai-ho, 36.

Tsang was accused of pouring liquid over other officers on the same night when he was assaulted by the seven officers. The activist was convicted of assaulting police and resisting arrest last May and completed his five-week jail term in March.

Court to hear bail request of police inspector jailed for beating pro-democracy activist Ken Tsang