Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Monday, Apr 22, 2024

Ex-Hong Kong lawmaker cleared of 2019 perverting the course of justice charge

Ex-Hong Kong lawmaker cleared of 2019 perverting the course of justice charge

Former Legco member Lam Cheuk-ting walks free from court after judge rules he tried to calm stand-off between demonstrators and police.

A former Hong Kong opposition lawmaker accused of pressuring a man to erase images of protesters involved in the 2019 anti-government unrest was on Friday cleared of perverting the course of justice after a judge ruled he was trying to make peace in the middle of a conflict zone.

District Court judge Douglas Yau Tak-hong told West Kowloon Court that he believed Lam Cheuk-ting was trying to get the man out of danger when he appealed to him to let protesters check his mobile phone after he was besieged outside Tuen Mun Police Station in the New Territories.

Yau highlighted video footage of the incident and said Lam’s calm manner during the hour-long conflict outside the police station was proof he wanted to resolve the tense situation.

“Lam that night was like a man putting out fires here and there,” he said. “He situated himself between the [prosecution] witness and those surrounding him, trying to resolve their differences, protecting the besieged and seeking police attention.”

“I truly cannot see how Lam had any intent to coerce the witness to remove his pictures so as to obstruct any potential prosecution in the future,” Yau said.

Lam Cheuk-ting, a former lawmaker who was on Friday found not guilty of perverting the course of justice.

Lam was charged after a police-approved rally on July 6, 2019 against loud song-and-dance performances in Tuen Mun Park descended into chaos after protesters suspected the man, identified only as X during the trial, had taken photographs of them at earlier demonstrations.

The July 6 rally was held after suggestions on social media that protesters should “blossom everywhere” to pressure the government to give into their demands, including withdrawal of a contentious extradition bill.

The proposed extradition legislation was scrapped in September that year.

Lam, of the Democratic Party, was among four people charged in connection with the disturbance.

The 45-year-old politician was accused of perverting the course of justice alongside Ronnie Tsang Chun-hei, 30, a decoration worker. It was alleged they tried to make X remove photos “showing the facial appearance of protesters who might have committed any possible criminal offence”.

Tsang was also charged with taking part in an unlawful assembly over alleged intimidating behaviour at the scene.

Social worker Aggie Chung Hoi-yin, 41, faced a charge of accessing a computer with dishonest intent and one of criminal damage by deletion from 12 video clips taken during a protest on July 1 that year from X’s mobile phone.

Lam’s former colleague Ted Hui Chi-fung, 40, who faced the same charges as Chung, jumped bail before the start of the trial.

Yau also highlighted a lack of evidence as to what potentially incriminating footage X had before.

He added the court could not draw an irresistible inference that the footage, assuming it had captured any criminal activities, would have been handed over to police for use in criminal proceedings.

Yau cleared Chung of both charges after he accepted she was, like Lam, a genuine peacemaker in a volatile situation.

Despite Friday’s acquittal, Lam remains behind bars awaiting two other trials, including one involving an alleged conspiracy to subvert state power over an unofficial legislative primary election in 2020.

The judge also awarded Lam and Chung costs for the proceedings and he questioned the prosecutors’ decision to bring them to court in the first place.

“Had prosecutors approached the video footage correctly, they would have realised the defendant’s crystal-clear intentions and could not have decided to prosecute them,” the judge said.

Tsang was cleared of perverting the course of justice but convicted of joining an unlawful assembly.

Yau ruled that he had threatened X with remarks that indicated his life would be in danger if he refused to surrender his mobile phone to protesters.

Tsang, who will be sentenced next month, faces up to five years in jail for the offence.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.