Student arrested on January 5 in Fanling possibly framed up for possesion of offensive weapon as case dropped by DoJ
Netizens called for a march with the theme “Walk with you – Shop for the New Year, Say no to parallel imports” in January this year, during which a tertiary student was arrested for suspicion of possession of a cutter. The case was arraigned in Fanling Magistrates’ Courts on 20th March. The charge of possession of offensive weapon was dismissed and the defendant was granted full costs, as the prosecution considered that cutter could be used for a variety of purposes and conviction was not likely. The defendant said outside the court, “Being young is a crime,” and that he would not back down in the face of police oppression. He would continue to attend legal marches and assemblies and encouraged Hong Kong people to persevere.
The defendant surnamed Ng, a 20-year-old tertiary student, was charged with a count of possession of offensive weapon. He was accused to have possessed an offensive weapon, namely, a cutter at the footbridge outside Exit B of Fanling MTR (metro) station with the intent of using it illegally.
The prosecution today withdrew the charge against the defendant, saying that a cutter could be used for not only assault but also other lawful purposes and therefore conviction was unlikely. The prosecution objected to the defendant’s application for costs because he appeared suspicious when he sped up his pace as he saw police officers.
Vivian Wong Ying-kei, barrister representing the defendant said that cutter is stationery and is used for a wide range of purposes. “I have a cutter as well in my pencil case,” she said as she pointed out that there could be many different intents for possessing a cutter. She argued that the defendant had never admitted to the charge since the beginning, and there was no circumstance constituting to suspicion upon himself by his conduct. “Why is walking faster linked to possession of offensive weapons? Couldn’t it be he was in a hurry?” The defendant had told police officers that he was going to the rally but it alone was unable to prove that he was involved in unlawful assembly.
Acting Principal Magistrate So Man-lung finally granted the defendant’s application for costs and the prosecution was required to pay the full amount of costs or $27,000.
Student Ng whose case has been withdrawn said outside the court that he was not too worried and it was common for the police to make arbitary arrests. “Being young is a crime, but one wouldn’t be arrested for bringing along this sort of stuff if he is a blue ribbon fanatic. It’s unreasonale.” He said he would not back down in the face of police oppression and would continue to attend lawful marches and assemblies afterwards. “The battle is still going on,” he encouraged people in Hong Kong to persevere.
Related: 0105 Sheung Shui “Walk with you” march