Seven police officers pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting a pro-democracy protester in October last year, and the prosecution failed to find the cameraman who captured the incident on video to testify in court.
In a hearing at a district court on Tuesday, David Leung, deputy director of public prosecutions, told Judge Anthony Kwok he will summon 38 policemen, the alleged victim Ken Tsang who pressed the charges, and other witnesses including surveyors, medical staff and forensic science personnel to testify when the official trial begins next year, Apple Daily reported.
Leung said video clips showing Tsang being brutally beaten by the defendants in Admiralty last year will also be presented as evidence.
But he admitted the prosecution can only download the footages from the internet because efforts failed to track down the television news cameraman who filmed the purported attack for local broadcaster TVB.
Enquiries have been made, but TVB has refused to cooperate and provide the identity of the cameraman, Leung said.
Kwok warned that the defense might challenge the authenticity of the video clips.
As the defendants, dressed in dark suits, sat quietly in the dock, the judge said the footages are very important evidence in the trial, and the prosecution should think hard about any possible challenge that may come up.
Criticizing the prosecution for failing to take enough steps to prove the authenticity of the tape, Kwok said he did not want to see the prosecution miss any evidence because the case involves public interest.
It is important to have the cameraman testify that the video clips have not been tampered with, the judge said.
Eric Cheung Tat-ming, principal lecturer at Department of Law of the University of Hong Kong, said the defense will definitely challenge the authenticity of the tapes but the court is likely to accept them as evidence if it considers them genuine.
A pre-trial of the case is set on March 11 next year before a 20-day trial begins on June 1. Proceedings will be conducted in English.
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