Date
21 October 2019
The High Court ruled that the CCTV footage must be kept secure until a court rules on whether the recordings must be handed over to a student leader and his lawyers. Photo: HKEJ
The High Court ruled that the CCTV footage must be kept secure until a court rules on whether the recordings must be handed over to a student leader and his lawyers. Photo: HKEJ

Court orders MTR to preserve CCTV footage of Aug 31 incidents

The High Court has ordered MTR Corp. to preserve the CCTV footage from Prince Edward and Lai Chi Kok stations on the night of Aug. 31, when police beat up and arrested suspected protesters and other passengers.

High Court judge Anderson Chow Ka-ming issued the order upon the request of a student leader, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Police have been accused of indiscriminately beating up people inside the Prince Edward MTR Station on the night of Aug. 31, with the injured being transported to the Lai Chi Kok MTR Station before they were sent to several hospitals for treatment.

Kex Leung Yiu-ting, head of the student union at Education University of Hong Kong, said he sustained injuries after police officers beat him up and arrested him at Prince Edward MTR Station that night.

Leung, who said he intends to sue the police and ask for compensation, filed an application with the High Court last week seeking a Norwich Pharmacal order against the MTR with regard to the CCTV footage.

Leung’s lawyer told the court in an earlier hearing that although MTR had announced in press releases that it would keep relevant CCTV footage at Prince Edward Station and other relevant stations for three years, the lawyer expressed concerns about leaving it to the rail operator to decide what footage would be relevant.

Also, whether the CCTV footage recorded at Lai Chi Kok Station is relevant has not been confirmed, the lawyer said.

Ithe absence of any court order, the MTR might dispose of the footage according to its usual practice, the lawyer added. CCTV footage recorded at MTR stations is generally kept for 28 days.

The student leader had earlier asked the court to order MTR to disclose footage at Prince Edward Station from 9:45 p.m. on Aug. 31 to 1:45 a.m. on Sept. 1, and at Lai Chi Kok Station from 12:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Sept. 1.

The MTR, however, reiterated that it had announced in press releases that it would keep relevant CCTV footage from Prince Edward Station and other relevant stations for three years.

The judge said the company did not confirm that it would keep the recordings from Lai Chi Kok Station, adding that there was a risk that the footage at Lai Chi Kok could be erased or disposed of without the court order.

Therefore, Chow ruled the recordings must be kept secure until a court rules on whether they must be handed over to Leung and his lawyers.

The judge also told both sides to submit further evidence in 28 days for the next hearing.

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