One of the accused in the brutal knife attack on former Ming Pao editor-in-chief Kevin Lau Chun-to said mainland police beat him up for 10 days to force them to admit to the crime.
Yip Kim-wah and Wong Chi-wah, both 39, were charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent for the assault.
Testifying on the first day of their trial, Yip said that on Feb. 26, 2014, the day of the attack, he and Wong were in Kowloon Tong to ask their former boss to pay their back wages.
But they went back after failing to locate their ex-employer, Yip said.
The pair then went to Shenzhen that afternoon and stayed there for two to three days, before proceeding to Dongguan to visit some friends.
In Dongguan, they were having dinner when more than 10 plainclothes men arrived and arrested them.
They were taken to a detention house were they were interrogated and beaten up for 10 days.
Yip said a senior public security official came to them and asked them to admit to the crime as the central government did not want the incident to spiral into a political issue.
If they didn’t, they would be tried on the mainland, where they would surely be found guilty and sentenced to either death or life imprisonment.
Yip said he had no choice but to put his signature and fingerprints on more than a dozen documents without reading their content.
Back in Hong Kong, local police threatened to send him back to the mainland if he refused to sign a statement saying that he was the driver while Wong was the one who carried out the knife attack on Lau.
Yip said that when he told them that mainland police beat him up to extract a confession from him, they replied, “It’s normal, we will beat you up too!”
Lau suffered six knife wounds when he was attacked by a man as he left his car in Sai Wan Ho in February 26, 2014.
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