Two Hong Kong men accused of assaulting police during a protest at the city’s airport on Tuesday have been released on bail but barred from setting foot at the scene of the alleged crime.
Their release came after both men made their first court appearance on Thursday, during which they complained to acting principal magistrate Ko Wai-hung that police assaulted them during and after their arrests.
Engineer Pang Kap-kin and Au Tak-fuk, who is unemployed, were among five arrested on the fifth day of a mass sit-in by protesters who sought to explain to visitors the crisis triggered by the Hong Kong government’s proposed extradition bill.
The bill would have allowed the city to transfer suspects to jurisdictions with which it does not have an extradition deal, including mainland China.
But its shelving, announced by the government last month, did not stop the wave of street protests that have rocked Hong Kong since June.
Pang, 28, was charged with one count of assaulting police, alleging that he attacked constable Tang Tung-wa at Zone 4 on Level 8 of the airport’s Terminal 1 on August 13.
The Post learned Pang was accused of using his left hand to hit Tang’s head, after the engineer allegedly grabbed an unknown man in black whom police were trying to subdue for throwing an object at officers.
The unknown man was said to have fled during the chaos. Tang was sent to hospital, where he reported tenderness in his right cheek, a headache and chest pain. He was granted three days’ sick leave.
Au, 27, was similarly charged with assaulting police for allegedly shining a laser pointer at sergeant Lee Chi-kin in Zone 2.
“Understood,” Au said when he heard the charge. “I plead not guilty.”
The magistrate reminded him: “You only have to indicate whether you understand the charge.”
The case was adjourned for eight weeks to October 10 for police to investigate further and review security footage.
Prosecutors did not object to the defendants’ bail.
Both men were released on HK$1,000 bail with the condition that they do not leave Hong Kong, obey a curfew and report to a police station once a week.
They are also barred from entering the airport.
Sha Tin Court also heard both defendants’ claims that they themselves were assaulted.
In particular, Pang’s defence lawyer Simon Tso said his “injuries were not minor” as he was assaulted by a large group of officers.
Pang had since attended North Lantau Hospital in Tung Chung twice on Wednesday, and reported the alleged assault to duty officers who subsequently took photos of his injuries.
Tso said his client would report the case to the police’s Complaints and Internal Investigations Branch.
This article Two men accused of assaulting police at Hong Kong airport protest bailed first appeared on South China Morning Post