Former lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a pro-Beijing protester last year during a scuffle at the legislature’s demonstration area.
The incident occurred at around 10:45 am on April 12, 2017, before Leung was disqualified as a lawmaker. A member of “Treasure Group,” which often appear at protests, claimed Leung kicked one of its protesters.
The police asked Leung to appear at the Central Police Station at around noon on Wednesday. The case will be heard next Friday at the Eastern Magistrates’ Court, and Leung was released on HK$1,000 bail.
At the time, Leung said he was at the demonstration area to receive a letter from a group of elderly people demanding a universal pension scheme.
The Treasure Group appeared and shouted at the elderly people, calling them “traitors,” Leung said. “I was very angry that elderly people were threatened and pushed, so I tried to stop them, and they claimed I assaulted them,” he said.
Leung claimed the legislature’s security guards failed to perform their duties: “My safety was not protected, the safety of group handing me the letter was not protected.”
“I have reason to defend myself and to protect the safety of the elderly people.”
Leung was disqualified as a lawmaker by a court last July over his protest at his oath-taking ceremony in 2016. He filed an appeal, but may be eligible to run for his seat again if he drops the case. However, if he is jailed for over three months for any reason, he will not be allowed to run for election.
Asked if he saw the prosecution as attempt to bar him from an upcoming by-election, he said: “I do not think the courts will be so unreasonable. Although law enforcement is targeting me, I still have certain confidence in Hong Kong’s courts.”
Leung said he suspected it was Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng who decided to prosecute him.
“As you all know, I have been targeting her [illegal structure scandal], I do not know if Cheng was responsible for this case personally,” he said.
“If top officials publicly split society apart, the fairness of law enforcement by the police and the Department of Justice will definitely be questioned.”
“Secretary Cheng, have you dealt with your issue yet?” Leung added.
Leung recalled a case whereby he protested against then-chief secretary Carrie Lam over the matter of universal suffrage at a debate contest in 2015. He was charged with wilfully obstructing persons in the lawful use of a civic centre, and was jailed for seven days awaiting appeal.
“This charge had never been used before,” he said. “[That is why] I am totally unsurprised by today’s prosecution.”