Four men on trial for loitering after following pro-democracy lawmaker Eddie Chu during last September’s legislative elections have pleaded not guilty.
At the time, Chu reported “serious threats” to himself and his family, and requested police protection. Six men whom the police said had backgrounds in organised crime were arrested later that month, but two were released.
The trial of Wong Kin-fai, 36, Wong Chun-yam, 18, Lam Ka-chun, 43 and Ho Yee-kei, 41 began at the Tuen Mun Magistrates’ Courts on Monday.
Counsel for the prosecution said that police officers stopped to question a suspicious vehicle on election day – September 4 – after receiving a report from Chu’s election team. Wong Kin-fai and Wong Chun-yam were in the vehicle, Ming Pao reported.
Wong Kin-fai denied he was following Chu when questioned by the police. He claimed he was “cruising around” because he was trying to find a restaurant to eat breakfast. Police allowed the pair to leave after recording their personal details.
Attending Monday’s trial as a witness, Chu claimed that Wong was a local villager whom he knew for many years. He added that his daughter attends the same kindergarten as Chu’s daughter.
“I didn’t think that you would leave home so early,” Chu cited Wong as having told him on election day.
Chu told the court he noticed a suspicious man taking photographs of him while he was out canvassing for votes later in the day.
He said his campaign team deliberately drove into dead-end streets around Yuen Long to verify whether they were being followed, reported HK01.
During the election period, Chu alleged that there was “collusion” between the government, businesses, rural leaders and triads in the New Territories. He brought a number of rural and conservation issues into the public limelight, including the Wang Chau housing controversy.
The trial resumes on Wednesday.