Date
22 September 2018
Cheng Yiu-tong (inset), a Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress, was cleared of careless-driving charge, with a judge saying there was insufficient evidence. Photos: HKEJ, RTHK news video screenshot
Cheng Yiu-tong (inset), a Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress, was cleared of careless-driving charge, with a judge saying there was insufficient evidence. Photos: HKEJ, RTHK news video screenshot

NPC delegate Cheng Yiu-tong acquitted of careless-driving

A court on Wednesday cleared Cheng Yiu-tong, a Hong Kong deputy to China’s National People’s Congress, of a charge of careless driving, with the judge finding fault with the police over their handling of the case.

Acquitting Cheng, an Eastern Court magistrate said the prosecution and the police failed to do a good job in laying out evidence against the defendant and that there were loopholes in the case as well.

The Eastern Magistrates’ Court heard earlier that a seven-seater vehicle driven by Cheng, who is a former non-official member of the Executive Council and a current NPC deputy, collided with a minivan in Aberdeen in July last year.

The minivan driver accused Cheng of hitting the back of his vehicle.

An ensuing investigation led the police to charge Cheng with careless driving.

Giving a ruling Wednesday, magistrate Pang Leung-ting said Cheng should be acquitted of the charge against him because the prosecution’s argument lacked merit, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The burden of proof was on the prosecution but it had failed to provide sufficient evidence against the defendant, Pang said, adding that he also found the police investigation had been sloppy.

Moreover, Pang questioned the integrity of the minivan driver and passenger, who was the driver’s employer, as their testimonies were found inconsistent.

Noting that the duo might have given false testimony as their descriptions of where the minivan was damaged didn’t match, the magistrate asked the Department of Justice to carry out an investigation to follow up on the matter.

Following his acquittal, Cheng told reporters outside the court that the police should instead have charged the minivan driver. 

He claimed that the minivan driver had been on the road in a vehicle with an expired license.

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TL/JC/RC

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