Probe of 7 cops in alleged assault yet to begin: Police watchdog

September 24, 2015 15:23
Larry Kwok (left) says the IPCC has yet to start investigating allegations that seven police officers (right) beat up Ken Tsang during last year’s Occupy protests. Photos: HKEJ, TVB

The head of the police watchdog said it has yet to start investigating a complaint by an activist that seven police officers beat him up during the Occupy protests in October last year.

Larry Kwok Lam-kwong, chairman of the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC), was reluctant to comment on the case of the officers, who were seen on TVB allegedly assaulting Ken Tsang Kin-chiu of the Civic Party in a dark corner, Apple Daily reported Thursday.

Kwok refused, in particular, to comment on speculation that if the seven policemen were convicted, it would set a precedent that could lead to more officers being put on trial.

He said whether to prosecute is a serious matter that cannot be decided by merely watching two video clips.

A thorough investigation must be conducted and legal grounds considered, Kwok said.

He said IPCC regulations require the watchdog to wait until all legal procedures are completed before it can investigate any complaints filed.

Kwok went on to say he would press the police in a meeting Thursday about the case of now-retired police superintendent Franklin Chu King-wai, who was accused of assault during a clearing operation in Mong Kok in November.

Police are reportedly seeking legal advice after the IPCC ruled on July 23 upholding the allegations against Chu.

Of the 172 complaints received by the Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO) that required the attention of the IPCC, 82 percent have either been rejected or classified as “unable to investigate”.

Only 20 cases have been fully investigated.

Kwok rejected the suggestion that the IPCC has been slow in handling complaints against actions by the police during the Occupy protests.

He said he hoped the IPCC could finish investigating the majority of such complaints by the first half of next year.

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