Birmingham & Black Country

Slap-accused Chinese journalist acted on 'instinct'

Linlin Kong Image copyright CCTV-13
Image caption Kong Linlin, a correspondent for China's official state broadcaster, says she was defending herself

A Chinese journalist accused of slapping a Conservative Party delegate acted on "natural instinct" fearing she would be attacked, a court heard.

Kong Linlin claims she used a hand to push away one of several men who surrounded her after asking a question at last year's Tory conference in Birmingham.

Delegate Enoch Lieu said he was "shocked" after the alleged attack.

Ms Kong, 49, denies common assault.

The defendant, a reporter with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, said she had been left humiliated after the incident at the city's International Convention Centre on 30 September 2018.

Ms Kong said she was approached by Mr Lieu, a member of Newcastle-under-Lyme Conservatives, near the end of a question-and-answer session chaired by Tory MP Fiona Bruce.

She told Birmingham Magistrates' Court Mr Lieu asked her to leave after she claimed one of the panellists was lying by saying they were pro-China.

With the assistance of an interpreter, she told the court: "I was shocked. I refused to leave and then he started to touch me. He used his hands to push me.

"Not only was the man pushing me, I was surrounded by four or five people. I was in fear."

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The alleged assault happened at the Conservative Party Conference in 2018

Asked by defence barrister Timothy Raggatt QC if she had done anything to the alleged victim, Ms Kong added: "I told him 'don't touch me, don't touch me'. He just kept pushing me and at that time I pushed him away.

"I was being attacked by a male in public, it was my natural instinct to do this."

Ms Kong, of King's Cross in London, maintains she was acting to protect herself when she pushed out in a moment recorded on video by a bystander, the court was told.

The three-day trial has been adjourned until 31 October.

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