Activist's wounds were inflicted by himself, court hears

Local | Charlotte Luo 10 Jan 2019

Democratic Party member Howard Lam Tsz-kin has a case to answer, a West Kowloon Magistrates' Court ruled after a forensic pathologist testified that evidence suggested Lam fabricated his claim of having been abducted and tortured by mainland secret agents.

Lam, 44, is on trial for allegedly filing a false report to police over the abduction in August 2017, to which he pleaded not guilty.

Pathologist Lai Sai-chak testified yesterday that evidence suggests it was highly likely Lam's wounds were self-inflicted.

He said Lam only had injuries on his abdomen, likely caused by blows from a bamboo stick, and on his thighs, inflicted by staples.

Lai said the wound on Lam's abdomen were all horizontal and came from the same direction as if he had whipped himself.

He said the abdomen was a part of the body people would choose to beat themselves being less sensitive and more accessible. He said Lam's wounds on his abdomen as more shallow than those "a child being punished by parents would suffer."

Lai said the wounds would have been distributed unevenly if they were inflicted by someone else.

As for the wounds from 10 staples, Lai said they looked scary, but it was less serious than being cut by a knife. He said the staples on Lam's thighs were in the shape of a cross and symmetrical, and more likely self-inflicted.

Other than that, Lam did not have any other injuries, which there would have been if his mouth was covered or he was moved while unconscious, Lai said.

The trial also heard it would take a few minutes to be knocked out by chloroform, so Lam's claim that he had passed out immediately was odd and unreasonable. Lai also said blood tests could not prove Lam had inhaled any gas, and only components of a sedative and sleeping pills were found.

As to why Lam did not see a doctor after his alleged abduction and torture, but waited until after the press conference on August 11, 2017, Lai said it could be explained if Lam caused his own injuries.

Lam denied making up his claim of being dragged into a van in Mong Kok and tortured by men he suspected were mainland agents, who left him unconscious on a beach in Sai Kung on August 10, 2017.

The trial continues.

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