The appeal application of a protester convicted of assaulting the police during the 2016 Mong Kok unrest was denied by a judge on Friday. Another demonstrator guilty of disorderly conduct withdrew his appeal.
The pair were arrested after heated clashes broke out between protesters and police over the government’s clearance of street hawkers during Lunar New Year.
In 2016, protester Chan Cheuk-hin – who was accused of throwing a rubbish bin out into the road during the protest – was found guilty of one count of behaving in a disorderly manner. Chan Yu-kei was convicted of one count of assaulting a police officer. They were jailed for 21 days and three months respectively.
The pair appealed their convictions. Chan Cheuk-hin, who was unrepresented, told the High Court on Friday that he will not continue with his appeal and Judge Judianna Barnes withdrew his application. He must complete the remaining seven days of imprisonment, Ming Pao reported.
At the appeal hearing, Chan Yu-kei’s counsel argued that the police sergeant could not see who had assaulted him, and that Chan may not have been the attacker. However, the judge said Chan did not leave the sight of one police officer who said he witnessed Chan’s attack on the sergeant.
Chan also argued that the first instance judge did not deal with his claim that a police officer had hit him on the head. But Judge Barnes said that, at the trial, Chan did not testify about the matter, nor did the defence cross-examine the officer on this point.
The judge said that although it was Chan’s right to not testify on the stand, it was difficult for the court to determine whether he had acted out of self-defence. She added that Chan had not been the officer’s target during the protests, and determined it was not a case of self-defence.
Judge Barnes denied Chan’s appeal application. He must continue serving his jail sentence immediately.
In another high profile trial involving the protests, localist Edward Leung last month pleaded guilty to assaulting police officers but denied three rioting charges. Another defendant, Wong Ka-kui, admitted to rioting but denied assaulting police. The duo were taken into custody immediately after the High Court revoked their bail.
Of the 90 arrested over the protests, six people have since been sentenced to jail for rioting – receiving up to four years and nine months behind bars. One was handed a training centre order.