Man with spanner arrested on November 2 possibly framed up for possession of instrument fit for unlawful purpose – Case dropped by DoJ for lack of evidence

A 20-year-old unemployed man who was originally charged with possession of two mini-spanners at a clash on Hong Kong Island on 2nd Novemeber was released when the prosecution applied for withdrawing the charge on grounds of insufficient evidence at a further hearing at Eastern Magistrates’ Courts on 3rd January 2020. The defendant applied for costs, but the prosecution objected, claiming the defendant constituted to suspicion upon himself by his conduct. Magistrate Lam Tsz-kan finally ruled that the mere possession of the two spanners was not equivalent to constitution to suspicion upon oneself by one’s conduct, and granted the defendant’s application for costs. This is the eighth case withdrawn so far in the anti-extradition bill movement.

The prosecution applied for withdrawal as available evidence was insufficient to reach a reasonable conviction, which was granted by Magistrate Lam Tsz-kan. An application for costs was made by the defence but opposed by the prosecution. The prosecution alleged that the defendant was sitting on the curbside when the police stopped and searched him and found a helmet, several pairs of gloves, a homemade iron shield and two spanners on him, constituting to suspicion of upon himself by his conduct. The defence argued, “The defendant’s sitting there doesn’t represent anything”, and that the spanners in question were palm-sized miniature versions fit for making models. Magistrate Lam ultimately determined the defendant’s mere possession of two spanners did not amount to suspicion upon onesef by one’s conduct and therefore granted his application for costs.

The defendant was charged with a count of “possession of instrument fit for unlawful purpose with intent to use it for unlawful purpose” for possessing instruments fit for unlawful purpose, i.e. two spanners, outside Top View Mansion at 10 Canal Road West, Causeway Bay on 2nd November last year, with intent to use them for unlawful purpose.

Apple Daily