Psych report on torture accuser urged

Top News | Charlotte Luo 23 Aug 2019

A magistrate yesterday asked the prosecution to consider getting a psychiatric report on a 62-year-old man who was allegedly assaulted by three police constables in a public hospital, in order to decide whether the charges against them are appropriate.

Appearing in Sha Tin Magistrates' Court yesterday, the two Sheung Shui division officers - Au Kwok-wai, 25, and Tang Man-him, 24 - jointly face one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

They are accused of attacking the senior, who was restrained on a stretcher in an isolated ward at North District Hospital in Sheung Shui on June 26.

Former officer Lam Yik-sing, 30, who resigned earlier and said he is currently unemployed, was charged with conspiracy to assault causing actual bodily harm.

Acting principal magistrate Ko Wai-hung asked the prosecution whether it would be able to get the psychiatric report, saying his request was more of "an observation" than a "suggestion."

No plea was taken from the three accused and the case was adjourned to October 17.

The prosecution said it needs to further investigate the case and obtain several medical reports pertaining to the senior.

It also did not object to the accused being released on bail. They are not allowed to leave Hong Kong or contact any of the witnesses. They also need to surrender their travel documents and report to police every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The alleged attack came to light after lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting made the surveillance camera footage from the hospital public on Tuesday. The three defendants were arrested later the same day.

Lam said the charges are too lenient as they do not reflect the seriousness of the case. He strongly asked that the charge of torture be added.

Lam quoted the Crimes (Torture) Ordinance, stating that if a public official acting in an official capacity commits the offense of torture, or if the official or the person intentionally inflicts severe pain or suffering on another, the maximum penalty is a sentence of life imprisonment.

The man's family also expressed anger over the assault charges, with one the senior's son calling them unacceptable.

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