Hong Kong activist Ken Tsang has denied charges related to pouring liquid on a group of police officers on October 15, 2014, during the pro-democracy Umbrella Revolution.
The hearing started yesterday with Tsang, 40, pleading not guilty to assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.
A further court case, filed by Tsang, regarding being beaten by police is expected to be held at a later date. He has already presented the case to the United Nations Committee Against Torture.
Tsang appeared in court yesterday wearing a suit with a yellow ribbon badge, a symbol of the Umbrella Revolution.
In the courtroom, video footage was played in which the police allege shows Tsang pouring the liquid on the ground, as well as his arrest. The footage, the police said, is from a television station and in one video, an off-camera reporter said Tsang had been pepper-sprayed first before being handcuffed.
The defense questioned the authenticity of the video footage, suggesting it was tampered with because “nobody knows how the two videos came about.” Four videos filmed by police were also shown yesterday.
This trial is expected to last five days.
The so-called Umbrella Revolution was a series of street protests running for three months in late 2014. The events, which attracted worldwide media attention, saw mostly young activists protesting against China’s encroachment on Hong Kong’s electoral freedoms. While the protest eventually dissipated, it has resulted in the rise of a group of activists seeking greater autonomy for Hong Kong as well as continued anti-Beijing sentiment.
Last week, one group of protesters announced the establishment of a new political party. The party, named Demosisto, will focus on self-determination for Hong Kong.
Edited by Edward White