Hong Kong protests: 'beaten' activist found guilty of assault

Political activist Ken Tsang addresses the media outside the Kowloon city court in Hong Kong on 26 May 2016 Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption The beating of Ken Tsang led to accusations of police brutality

A Hong Kong activist, allegedly beaten by police during the 2014 pro-democracy protests, has been found guilty of assault and resisting police officers.

Ken Tsang, a member of the pro-democracy Civic Party, was found guilty of pouring an unknown liquid on police officers and of resisting arrest.

On the same night of 15 October 2014, Tsang was filmed being beaten by police for several minutes.

Seven policemen, who are to stand trial for the assault, deny the charges.

Tsang arrived at the Kowloon City Magistrates' Court on Thursday afternoon to a crowd of supporters holding yellow umbrellas, a symbol of the city's democracy movement.

Magistrate Peter Law told the court that he was convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Tsang was the one who poured an unknown liquid over 11 police officers and subsequently resisted arrest by two others.

"Although he did not have a specific target, he clearly knew there were many officers below," he said, adding that it showed "hostility."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A video filmed by the Apple Daily newspaper appeared to show officers beating a handcuffed protester, later identified as Ken Tsang
Image caption Images such as this one allegedly showing marks on Ken Tsang's back caused outrage

After the verdict, Tsang's lawyer Robert Pang said the attack his client had been subject to was far more serious than the charges he has been found guilty of.

"His body was covered in wounds... he was tortured. He was punched and kicked in a dark corner as a punishment," Pang said, adding the police had used "disproportionate violence".

Tsang has said police brought assault charges against him to distract from the case against them.

Thousands of protesters blocked major thoroughfares in Hong Kong in 2014, calling for a free vote on the city's chief executive, but the demonstration failed to win any concessions from either Beijing or the city authorities.

Tsang will be sentenced next Monday and could face up to two years in jail.

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