Hong Kong protests: salesman accused of elbowing police officer has assault charge withdrawn

Jasmine Siu

A Hong Kong salesman who was accused of injuring a police inspector during an anti-government protest on Halloween last year had his assault charge withdrawn on Monday.

Leung Cheuk-nam, 22, said he felt relieved by the latest development as he believed he had been a victim of arbitrary arrest and prosecution.

“I was afraid I might be arrested again for no reason,” he said after the hearing.

Hong Kong courts continue to adjourn, except to handle urgent and essential matters, due to public health concerns in light of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

West Kowloon Court heard Leung was charged with one count of assaulting police, alleging he elbowed the officer referred to in court as Inspector X during a clearance operation at Shanghai Street in Mong Kok on October 31.

Crowds had gathered in the district to mark two months since a police operation in Prince Edward MTR station, which drew accusations of excessive force.

Leung was among 249 people arrested from October 28 to 31.

But prosecutors on Monday applied to have his charge withdrawn, after consulting legal advice that was not disclosed in court.

Their decision prompted Leung’s lawyers to demand legal costs of more than HK$30,000 in compensation.

Both applications were granted by Principal Magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen.

Outside court, Leung said he would not take further action for damages against police as he hoped to close the case as soon as possible.

Leung also revealed he would not be deterred in future protests, but added that he would only participate in those approved by police.

This article Hong Kong protests: salesman accused of elbowing police officer has assault charge withdrawn first appeared on South China Morning Post

For the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.