Son of 'abused' man puts more heat on police

Top News | Stella Wong 22 Aug 2019

The family of an elderly man allegedly tortured by officers in a psychiatric room at North District Hospital in June has reported to the Wan Chai police headquarters about his ordeal.

And one son, surnamed Chung, disputed the police version of events, contending that officers did not act on their complaint until a shocking video footage was unveiled on Tuesday.

Two constables were arrested that day for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and another constable, who had earlier resigned, was arrested hours later for conspiracy to injure.

Police reiterated that officers had tried reaching the complainant four times from early July to early August - twice through phone calls and twice through e-mails, but they did not receive a reply.

But the son insisted he picked up every call - including junk calls - in the two weeks after filing a complaint, adding he never received a call from police.

Together with Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting, the son went to Wan Chai police headquarters to assist in their investigation yesterday morning.

He said it is "a show" that police contacted him almost immediately after their press conference on Tuesday, where they showed the security footage of the alleged beating.

Asked about police saying they could not reach him to follow up on the case, the son said he paid extra attention to incoming calls but got none came from police, who earlier told him they would contact him within two weeks. He did get an e-mail notifying him about the case number.

"I was very nervous during the two weeks and I listened to every single call, even junk calls," he said. After a while, the son said he "resumed my normal life - not listening to about 80 percent of in coming calls that started with digit 3."

He said it was an excuse to say that police could not reach them as his father had twice reported back to Sheung Shui police station in July and August to renew his bail.

"How difficult would it be for police to find him? Don't trick us! My feeling is that they did not want to work on the case," he said. The son also blasted police for not obtaining the security footage from the hospital even though he told them to and accused police of not recording this point in the statement.

Lam criticized the Complaints Against Police Office for neglecting the victim's request. He said the Hospital Authority had told them that the footage would only be kept for slightly over a month.

"If the victim did not tell us to obtain the footage from the Hospital Authority, the footage would have been overwritten such an important evidence would have vanished," he said.

Tse Chun-chung, chief superintendent of the Police Public Relations Branch, said CAPO passed the case to the New Territories North complaint investigation team for follow-up.

Asked why police did not obtain the footage as requested by the son, Tse said records showed that the son did not mention there was CCTV in the room.

And based on the understanding of investigation teams, there is usually no surveillance camera in wards," he added.

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