|Media surround a prison van holding seven police officers that were convicted of assaulting Civic Party member Ken Tsang during the illegal "Occupy Central" movement in 2014 , as it leaves the District Court in Hong Kong on Feb 14, 2017. (ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP)|
HONG KONG - Seven policemen were each jailed for two years on Friday for attacking an activist during the illegal "Occupy Central" movement two years ago.
The police officers were found guilty on Tuesday of one joint count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm
The police officers were found guilty on Tuesday of one joint count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm with intent to former Civic Party member Ken Tsang Kin-chiu.
One detective constable was convicted of an additional charge of common assault for slapping Tsang twice at a police station. He received an extra one-month in prison to be served concurrently.
All of them are jailed Friday with no probation granted.
District Court Judge David Dufton said the imprisonment was appropriate as the officers had “dishonored the police force and damaged Hong Kong’s reputation” as the case has been reported as front-page news in many countries. There was also no justification for the assault on Tsang, said Dufton.
“The assault is a vicious one,” Dufton continued. The seven, though working under stress, were not justified for taking Tsang to substation and assault him, the judge said.
Judge Dufton earlier said he was satisfied with the prosecution's case that officers carried Tsang by his arms and legs and took him behind a park building, "where he was dumped on the ground and immediately assaulted."
When Tsang was later taken to a police station, he was slapped twice by detective police constable Chan Siu-tan.
The activist himself was sentenced to five weeks jail last year after assaulting police with liquid during the Occupy Central movement.
Senior Counsel Lawrence Lok, who represented first defendant Wong Cho-sing, said his client will consider appealing against the conviction, and that a decision will be reached next week at the earliest, local news website mingpao.com reported.
Jimes Lee Jim-on, chairman of the Hong Kong Police Inspectors' Association, said that the penalty was unreasonably high. Lee said an unlicensed hawker was jailed only for a year for the manslaughter of an anti-hawker officer last year.
The seven convicted officers are chief inspector Wong Cho-shing, 50; senior inspector Lau Cheuk-ngai, 31; detective sergeant Pak Wing-bun, 43; police constable Lau Hing-pui, 39; and detective police constables Chan Siu-tan, 33; Kwan Ka-ho, 33; and Wong Wai-ho, 38.