A court judge allowed a request for Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang to testify in a court case involving 12 protesters accused of illegal assembly and forcible entry into the Legco building during a hearing of the Northeastern New Territories development plan last year, Ming Pao Daily reported on Thursday.
The defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Barrister Douglas Kwok King-hin, representing defendant Leung Hiu-yeung, asked that Tsang and legislator Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen be made to testify in court and explain their decision to seek police assistance.
Kwok said their decision could have violated the defendants’ right to protest, and therefore, the legislators’ testimonies could make a difference in the trial.
However, lawyer Wong Sze-wing, representing Legco, said the decision to seek help from the police was made collectively, not the sole decision of Tsang or Leung, and therefore it would not help to put Tsang or Leung on the witness’ stand.
The other witness in the case, Legco assistant secretary general Matthew Loo Sze-yuen, could help explain what happened as he was at the Legco building at the time, Wong added.
Magistrate Jason Wan Siu-ming said no witness could be ruled out and the defendants should be given the opportunity to call witnesses.
Wan said although the decision to seek police help was a collective one, Tsang would still be the best person to explain it.
As the role of Tsang and Leung in the incident overlapped, Wan said he only approved Tsang to stand as a witness in the trial, as soon as next week.
Wan’s ruling was warmly welcomed by the defendants.
– Contact us at [email protected]