A Chinese state media reporter who was charged with slapping a UK Conservative Party delegate at a conference has had the case against her dropped.
Kong allegedly slapped Conservative Party member Enoch Lieu twice, on September 30, at the party’s annual conference in Birmingham. The incident took place during a fringe event discussing human rights and democracy in Hong Kong that was co-organised by NGO Hong Kong Watch.
Kong was charged with common assault and was due to appear at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday.
But the Crown Prosecution Service said there was not enough evidence to continue with the case.
“This case was originally charged by the police,” a CPS spokeswoman said.
“The CPS subsequently reviewed the available evidence and determined that it was insufficient to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and therefore discontinued the case.”
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for CCTV commended the decision, adding that it was “based on facts.”
Last month, the Chinese Embassy in the UK has said it was “shocking and confusing” that a Chinese state media journalist based in Britain had been charged with common assault. A spokesperson said Kong “encountered obstruction and was manhandled by the organizer of the event when she was expressing her opinion.”
CCTV had claimed that after Kong was arrested last month, she was quickly released “under growing pressure from the Chinese Embassy in the UK.” They also claimed that the UK police “confirmed physical assault on Kong and released her without any charge.”
Both the Embassy and CCTV had demanded an apology from the organiser of the event.
Lieu and Benedict Rogers, chair of Hong Kong Watch, both told HKFP that they had no comment until further information emerged.