Civic Party member Ken Tsang pleaded not guilty to five charges of inflicting harm on police officers during a pro-democracy protest last year.
Tsang, who was himself beaten up by some policemen near an Occupy site in Admiralty in October 2014, denied charges that he had assaulted and obstructed police officers during the protest.
Before making his way to a pre-trial hearing at the Eastern Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, Tsang held aloft a yellow umbrella, a symbol of the pro-democracy movement last year.
The 40-year-old activist was accompanied by several supporters, including League of Social Democrats lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung.
Tsang is facing a charge of assaulting police officers and four charges of resisting arrest in the discharge of their duties on October 15, the same day when seven police officers were caught on video beating him up in a dark corner near the main Occupy protest site in Admiralty.
The court heard that Tsang assaulted 11 police officers on the day by splashing water on them at Lung Wo Road, before later resisting arrest by four other officers.
The prosecution said it will summon 26 witnesses, all of whom are police officers, when the official trial begins next year.
Various video clips taken by the police and some footage from Asia Television (ATV), in which Tsang was said to be seen splashing water, will also be presented as evidence.
Apple Daily cited a source as saying that all the 15 police officers allegedly assaulted by Tsang will be among the witnesses.
Meanwhile, the defence sought to summon two witnesses who were police commanders at the scene.
As a pre-trial of the case is set for January 28 before a 5-day trial begins on April 11, some legal professionals have raised questions whether the outcome of the case will have a bearing on the subsequent trial of seven police officers who were accused of beating up Tsang.
The trial of the police officers is set to begin on June 1.
Barrister Luk Wai-hung pointed out that if Tsang is convicted as a defendant in his case, his credibility as a witness in the later trial of the seven cops will definitely be questioned by the lawyers hired by the policemen.
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