MTR ordered to keep footage in modification row

Local | Stella Wong 20 Sep 2019

The High Court yesterday ordered MTR Corp to preserve security footage at Prince Edward and Lai Chi Kok stations on the night of August 31 and the early hours of September 1.

Judge Anderson Chow Ka-ming said the footage must be kept until a court rules whether it must be handed over to Education University of Hong Kong student union head Leung Yiu-ting and his legal team.

Leung, who was arrested that night and intends to sue the police, earlier applied to the court to order the MTR to disclose all footage at Prince Edward Station from 9.45pm on August 31 to 1.45am on September 1, and at Lai Chi Kok Station from 12.30am to 2am on September 1.

He also applied for the court to order the MTR to preserve the footage and to refrain from meddling, editing, erasing, destroying or disposing of any part of it.

The MTR earlier announced it would keep the relevant footage from August 31 for three years.

In the written judgment, Chow wrote the MTR did not confirm the recordings from Lai Chi Kok station would be kept, and there was a risk of it being erased or disposed of.

But he didn't find it necessary to order the MTR to refrain from editing, erasing, destroying or disposing of the footage.

Meanwhile, the Fire Services Department yesterday clarified that it did not modify the number of people injured in its logbook recording internal communications on August 31.

This came amid widespread rumors that three people died at Prince Edward Station that night.

It comes two days after lawmaker Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu revealed the department modified records in the logbook up to 10 days after the incident.

The department yesterday listed modifications made to over 20 related items in the logbook.

Most modifications involved shorthand or symbols, or adding supplemental information based on recordings.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Derek Armstrong Chan said that to ensure the accuracy of the logbook, it is common practice to modify it after reviewing recordings and confirming information with those on the front lines.

"We need to handle a huge amount of information in a short time when handling an incident. Frontliners may contact the communications center via telephone or wireless communication devices," he said.

Chan said despite reviewing over 1,000 recordings, the department is still updating the logbook.

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