Hong Kong district councillor arrested over claims he had earlier been detained and denied access to lawyer

Danny Mok
·3-min read

An opposition district councillor in Hong Kong has been arrested for allegedly wasting police time after claiming in an online post that he had earlier been detained and denied the chance to meet his lawyer.

Cary Lo Chun-yu, 38, of the Democratic Party, was held on Wednesday after investigators found that he had never been held or taken to any police station, contrary to his claims.

Lo, who was elected to Tuen Mun District Council in November last year, had said on his Facebook page on Saturday night that he had been detained by police earlier in the day when he went to the vicinity of a park on Fung Yau Street North in Yuen Long after learning that officers had surrounded two male protesters there.

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The councillor, a former bank compliance officer who studied law at the University of Hong Kong, also said he had been surrounded and subdued, with his hands held tightly behind his back while he was taken to a cordoned area.

Police officers brief the media on the councillor’s arrest. Photo: Hong Kong Police
Police officers brief the media on the councillor’s arrest. Photo: Hong Kong Police

He also alleged that officers had intimidated him with vulgar language, before he was taken to Yuen Long Police Station where his requests to contact a lawyer were refused.

Lo said he and two protesters were later released unconditionally.

But Lo apologised to the public on Wednesday for causing doubts and misunderstanding. He said part of the Facebook message did not reflect the actual situation and was the result of a “serious discrepancy” during a telephone conversation with his assistant. He said he had withdrawn the post on Monday.

“I will reflect on myself profoundly and be more careful in handling information delivered online in the future. ”

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The police force responded to his comments on Tuesday, saying there had been no such incident as claimed and that it was “utterly shocked” by the fabrication and smearing by a district councillor.

Officers escorted Lo to his office in Tuen Mun’s Melody Garden estate for a search on Wednesday night, before the handcuffed councillor was taken to Yuen Long Police Station. He was released on bail in the early hours of Thursday and told to report back to police next month.

Chief Inspector Law Like-him from the New Territories North region said the force had deployed a certain degree of manpower to investigate Lo’s allegations and that he had been detained on the grounds of “wasteful employment of police officers.”

Lo is not the first district councillor to have been arrested recently.

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On Sunday, Henry Wong Pak-yu, who sits on Yuen Long District Council, and Kowloon City’s Timothy Lee Hin-long were among three men arrested by commercial crime police over suspicious election expenses claims. One of the suspects was also held for an imitation-firearms offence.

On November 17, Sha Tin district councillor Raymond Li Chi-wang was arrested over a rally against the national security law in Causeway Bay months ago. He had previously been arrested soon after the event but refused bail and was later released by police.

Pan-democrat candidates enjoyed a sweeping victory over pro-establishments incumbents in the district council elections last year, with Lo unseating controversial figure Junius Ho Kwan-yiu in the Lok Tsui constituency of Tuen Mun.

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