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Wednesday, Sep 23, 2020

Lawyers for Hong Kong teen who claims she was gang-raped by police accuse city’s top cop of trying to undermine case

Vilder & Co issue lengthy rebuttal to claims made by Commissioner of Police Chris Tang, who suggested their client lied in her statement to police. Police say aspects of the girl’s story do not match up with the result of their investigation
Lawyers for a teenager who claimed she was gang-raped inside a Hong Kong police station have accused the city’s top cop of trying to discredit their client and undermine the case.

Vidler & Co., representing the girl, known as Ms X, responded on Saturday to comments made by Commissioner of Police Chris Tang Ping-keung, who earlier in the week suggested officers had shifted the focus of the investigation onto the complainant.

“Police are [making] an outrageous further attempt to publicly discredit her, publicly undermine her complaint and diminish any prospect of a successful prosecution. She considers such conduct should be condemned in the strongest terms,” Vidler & Co. said in a statement on Facebook.

The teen alleged she was raped by four officers inside Tsuen Wan Police Station on September 27, and reported the incident to police in October.

However, at a district council meeting on January 16, Tang said the force was looking into whether the girl had given a false statement to police. He added that officers had looked through security camera footage and found no evidence of an assault.

Police sources have previously indicated that aspects of the girl’s story do not tally with their investigations, and a spokesman reiterated that stance in a statement issued on Saturday night.

“Police continue to conduct an investigation of the case from all aspects,” the spokesman said. “So far, the investigation has revealed that the woman’s allegations do not match up with the investigation results.

“The case is still under investigation and police have no further comments at this stage. “

In the 588-word rebuttal, X speaking through Vidler & Co. accused police of not keeping her up to date on the investigation, and said at no point had police asked her to clarify her victim statement.

The statement goes on to say X was distressed to learn that at the Central and Western district council meeting Tang had “alluded to her criminal complaint as fake information”.

The law firm added: “Ms X further believes that the actions of the police during the course of this supposedly confidential investigation evidences the lack of impartiality of this investigation by the police, and displays a total disregard for her privacy and dignity as a criminal complainant and victim of rape.”

In November last year, a court set aside a search warrant for police to access X’s private medical records. Officers had earlier obtained the warrant while investigating the girl's allegations.

The warrant, according to her lawyers, gave police permission to access her medical records, including those from long before her complaint, and security footage from her doctor's clinic.
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