Hong Kong Law & Crime

Woman accused of taking photos inside Hong Kong courtroom during Mong Kok Occupy trial

A woman has been accused of taking photos inside a courtroom during a hearing related to the clearance of the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy protest site in Mong Kok.

The court was handling the cases of Siew Yun-long, Man For-on, Yung Yiu-sing, Chan Pak-tao and Lou Tit-man, who pleaded not guilty to contempt of court charges. But during the hearing, Mr Justice Andrew Chan said he received a complaint that a woman had taken photos in the courtroom.

According to Ming Pao, the woman stated that she was “Chinese,” with a Hong Kong identity card but no permanent residency. She said her mother tongue was Mandarin, but insisted on speaking in English, and claimed to be working in the legal sector.

court photo

The woman suspected of taking photos inside a court room. Photo: Apple Daily.

According to Apple Daily, the woman said she thought it was a public hearing and declined to answer the judge’s questions without a lawyer.

The clerk took her phone to Chan after the judge asked her to hand it over.

The woman said it was a minor incident, and asked if barristers inside the courtroom would help her. The barristers shook their heads and refused as they were witnesses.

Chan disagreed that it was a minor incident. He said it was serious considering similar recent cases, and as it was unclear what photos the woman took.

Chan allowed the woman to leave the court to find a lawyer, but said she must return to the court by 4:30pm and cannot leave Hong Kong, or an arrest order will be issued. The judiciary has reported the case to the police.

high court

File photo: inmediahk.net.

The court then resumed at 4:45pm. According to Stand News, she told the judge that she saw legal representatives eating and drinking in the court. Asked by the judge why did she mention it, she said she was not asking for punishments for the legal representatives, but the judge should point out other people’s mistakes too.

The judge has postponed the case to Friday to await the opinion of the Department of Justice. Her phone was confiscated and the judge suggested that she hire a lawyer.

After she reported back to the court, the woman, who identified herself as “Miss Tang,” was accosted by reporters as she was leaving the courthouse. Asked what her motives were in taking photos, she said: “everything should be transparent.”

She added: “today I want to say I am here on behalf of the public, not on behalf of either of the parties, okay?”

The woman was not allowed to leave Hong Kong. She entered the Island Shangri-La hotel after leaving the court.

【線報直播】被指庭上偷影 女士:Everything should be transparent!今日有一名內地女子涉嫌在高等法院內拍照,案件今日在下午4點30分開庭處理。案情指,今日為日前在2014年「佔旺」期間因被指阻礙執達主任和警方在亞皆老街清場而被控刑事藐視法庭,當中五名不認罪的答辯人正進行受審。法官陳慶偉在法官在審訊期間接獲投訴,指有一名中國籍女子在法庭內用手機拍照,故即時停聆訊。該女子表示,事件只屬「小事」,然而陳慶偉則認為事件是「大事」,所以暫時扣起她的手機,並准她暫時離開,但不准她離開香港,押後今午四時三十分處理。庭外有多名便衣警員及軍裝在場戒備。該名女士在開庭時仍未到達,最後遲數十分鐘才到達法庭,而案件則在四時四十六分開庭。該名女士頭向下,神情較為凝重,未有如今早法庭時的器焰。該女士指會為自己辯護,又指她今早在開庭野一小時已到達,更拿到一號籌,但她最後卻成最後一名進入法院,所以認為不公平。她又提到,庭上有同樣法律背景人士法官問該女士是否因那些法律人士出現錯誤行為,故同樣作出錯誤行為。法官兩次質問該女士為何在法庭拍照,但該女子未有正面回應,只提到她聆聽有關審訊。法官將案件押後至星期五,等待律政司意見,而該女子的手機會被沒收。法官建議該女子聘請律師及尋找法律意見。

Posted by LinePost 線報 on Wednesday, 23 May 2018

During a recent trial related to the Mong Kok unrest, two incidents emerged of people allegedly taking photos inside the courtroom. The first took place in February, when a man claiming to be a mainland tourist was found taking photos inside the courtroom and uploading them onto social media.

Less than two weeks later, another Mandarin-speaking man was accused of taking photos during the same trial. At the time, the judge said the incident might be a misunderstanding and jurors had no need to be concerned.

However, last Friday, the judiciary’s complaints office received an email from an unidentified person containing a photo of four of the jurors.

Update 17:30: This piece was updated with the woman’s comments to reporters. 

Woman accused of taking photos inside Hong Kong courtroom during Mong Kok Occupy trial