Lawyers for the seven policemen accused of assaulting pro-democracy activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu during the Occupy protests two years ago sought to cast doubts on the video clips used as evidence in the case.
Tsang insists he was beaten by a group of police officers in a dark alley near the main protest site in Admiralty on the night of Oct. 15, 2014.
Video clips of the beating had been broadcast in news programs and sparked public outrage.
But in closing arguments on Tuesday, barrister Lawrence Lok Ying-kam, who represents Chief Inspector Wong Cho-sing, told Judge David Dufton of the District Court that everyone could see the quality of the video footage was bad and therefore no one could conclude the man seen being beaten was the plaintiff, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Lok said as many as 42 other demonstrators were arrested and brought to the same place for investigation on the night when the seven policemen allegedly beat up Tsang, suggesting the victim might be someone else.
Lok said the video footage taken by Television Broadcasts and presented to the court shows a black screen that lasts 49 seconds.
He said it was very likely that the officers seen in the clip before the blackout might be different from those seen afterwards.
After listening to the arguments, Judge Dufton demanded the video clips from TVB, Asia Television and Apple Daily be played in the court immediately and asked lawyers from both sides to see if the pattern on the clothes worn by the victim were the same as that claimed by Tsang.
Lok said after watching the clips the pattern on Tsang’s clothes was not unique, adding that it would be dangerous to identify the victim as Tsang on the basis of such clips.
Barrister Cheng Huan, who represents Senior Inspector Lau Cheuk-ngai, said his client was only there to protect demonstrators who were abiding by the law but Tsang was one of those who abused their right, Apple Daily reported.
He also reminded the court that an unfavorable ruling would affect his client’s career.
Barrister Tang Ho-ming said a forensic doctor had suspected the wound on Tsang’s back could have been caused by batons used by policemen but Lau had never been issued such a baton, contrary to the prosecution’s claim.
As such, it could be deduced that it was not the defendants but another group of uniformed policemen who attacked Tsang.
The closing arguments are set to end on Wednesday.
Judge Dufton decided in principle to issue a ruling on Jan. 6 next year.
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