heated turn to yuen long case
The prosecution has been ordered by a district court judge to amend its vague opening statement in a trial involving six men charged over the July 21, 2019, Yuen Long MTR attack.
Judge Eddie Yip Chor-man made the order on the third day of the trial when, in his opening statement, senior assistant director of public prosecutions Anthony Chau Tin-hang described the attack at the station as "violent clashes" between white-clad men and black-shirted people.
But Yip was not satisfied with the description and demanded Chau elaborate. Chau responded that both groups had yelled and hurled objects at each other.
"Do you mean the two groups fought each other? Can you explain clearly how they clashed?" Yip asked, ordering Chau to clarify which group initiated the violence first.
Chau responded that the men in white shirts attacked first, hitting the black-shirted people with wooden and rattan sticks. After being attacked, the latter used fire extinguishers and fire hoses to spray water at the white-clad men.
"It turns out that 'violent clashes' can mean a lot of things," Yip replied, and asked Chau to add the detailed description to the statement.
Yip also slammed Chau for being vague in describing how the two groups fought each other, such as while stating what sparked the conflict.
The prosecution also mentioned a screening event held by protesters in Yuen Long on July 16, which Chau contended was the trigger for the events on July 21.
But Yip questioned whether the screening event was the direct cause of the July 21 attacks.
"Did the defendants start planning the July 21 attack on July 16? If they planned and organized the attack like that, the case would be much more serious," he said.
Yip also refuted Chau's claim that the event was mentioned in the opening to offer background on the case.
"Some people might have danced at a Cantonese opera event at the Tuen Mun Park on July 16. Do you need to include that in the statement as well?"
Chau agreed there is no evidence showing the six defendants were involved in the July 16 screening event and deleted the relevant section in the opening statement.
The six defendants are transport worker Wong Chi-wing, 55, cable worker Wong Ying-kit, 49, merchant Tang Wai-sum, 62, driver Ng Wai-nam, 58, mechanic Choi Lap-ki, 40 and 61-year-old retiree Tang Ying-bun. They have denied the charges of rioting and wounding with intent.
The trial continues today.