28 October 2016
A group of supporters stands by Ken Tsang (center) after the verdict was handed down. Photo: HKEJ
A group of supporters stands by Ken Tsang (center) after the verdict was handed down. Photo: HKEJ

Beaten activist Ken Tsang to be sentenced for assaulting police

Civic Party member Ken Tsang Kin-chiu was convicted in a Kowloon City magistrate’s court Thursday of one count of police assault and two of resisting arrest, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

The offenses were committed Oct. 15, 2014, the same evening seven police officers were caught on television cameras beating Tsang up in a dark corner near the main Occupy protest site in Admiralty.

Seven officers will soon stand trial in the beating of Tsang.

The pro-democracy activist was acquitted of two other charges of resisting arrest. He had denied all the five charges against him.

The prosecution told the court earlier that Tsang assaulted 11 police officers by splashing some kind of fluid on them on Lung Wo Road, before later resisting arrest by four other officers.

Principal Magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen said his decision to convict Tsang was based on video taken at the scene, including clips from the police and two aired previously by Asia Television Ltd., in which Tsang was seen pouring an unknown liquid over police officers and resisting arrest by officers executing their duties.

Tsang clearly aimed the liquid at the police officers, even though he might not have had specific targets, Law said.

The magistrate said he believed the police officers did not use excessive force on Tsang, considering the fact that Tsang had a burly figure and struggled intensely during the process.

He said there was no evidence that Tsang’s injuries were inflicted by the officers who subdued him.

Law also said Tsang must have known that the police officers were approaching him to arrest him, but he resisted the arrest.

Asking the court for leniency, Tsang’s lawyer said his client’s acts were only aimed at letting out his dissatisfaction with the unreasonable use of police power.

Pouring a liquid was the minimum use of force compared with what other protesters were doing, the lawyer said.

He asked the court to impose a non-custodial sentence.

Supported by dozens of people outside the court, including several lawmakers, Tsang said after the ruling that he was disappointed and will consider appealing.

As Law will hand down a sentence on Monday, Tsang is likely to appear as a prisoner at a court hearing on Wednesday, the first day of the scheduled 20-day trial of the seven police officers.

The length of Tsang’s sentence is important to him because he plans to be a candidate representing the social welfare functional constituency for his party in the Legislative Council election in September.

He will still be eligible to run for the seat if he receives a sentence of less than three months in jail.

The law prohibits those who are sentenced to three months’ imprisonment or longer from standing for election within five years after conviction.

Under the Offences Against the Person Ordinance, on which Tsang’s conviction is based, he could be imprisoned for up to two years.

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