Emotions run high at Occupy hearing

Local | Phoenix Un 5 Dec 2018

The Occupy trial hit an emotional note when co-founder Chan Kin-man claimed students were assaulted by police, even if they were not violent.

His voice quivered while fellow co-founder Reverend Chu Yiu-ming started crying, prompting the judge to call for a short break.

The three Occupy Central co-founders - Benny Tai Yiu-ting, 54, Chan, 59, and Chu, 74 - face charges of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance, inciting others to cause a public nuisance and inciting people to incite others to cause a public nuisance during the 79-day Occupy Movement.

Other defendants include legislators Tanya Chan, 47, and Bottle Shiu Ka-chun, 48, vice chairman of the League of Social Democrats, Raphael Wong Ho-ming, 30, former Hong Kong Federation of Students members Tommy Cheung Sau-yin, 24, and Eason Chung Yiu-wa, 25, and ex-legislator Lee Wing-tat, 62.

Yesterday was the 11th day of the hearing, as Justice Johnny Chan Jong-herng continued to hear Senior Counsel David Leung Cheuk-yin, the director of Public Prosecutions, interrogate Chan on the last day of the latter's defense of himself.

He said the reason why the trio decided to openly break from the student leaders was due to the latter's announcement on November 30 to escalate the movement.

Chan said he knew the protesters were not violent, but he claimed they were still assaulted by police. He added that the helmets and armor worn by police would give society the impression that protesters were provocative.

"Society would not sympathize with them even if they were beaten up and bled. I knew they might despair, but I didn't want more people to get injured," Chan said before bursting into tears. Chu also began sobbing, and was consoled by Tai and Chan, who sat beside him.

Judge Chan called for a five-minute break to allow them to gather themselves before resuming the trial.

Chan also said the Occupy Movement had deviated from the Occupy Central campaign that the trio had planned. As a result, the trio were marginalized after Tai announced the start of the Occupy Central movement on September 28, 2014.

Leung asked Chan when the trio expected the Occupy movement would end. Chan said Tai expected the movement to conclude on October 5 after police used tear gas on September 28. The trio had repeatedly asked student leaders to speak with the government.

The trial continues today.

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