The head of the Hong Kong Court Prosecutors Association has sent an internal email to all Department of Justice staff, accusing the police of lying about the timing of the arrest of seven pro-democracy figures, including three lawmakers, on August 30.
In the email, confirmed by sources, association chairman William Wong said it was clear that the police were lying when they said it was only a "coincidence" that the high profile arrests came on the eve of a planned mass rally.
He said the public does not accept that explanation and if the issue comes up during a trial, "no court or reasonable jury properly directed would believe what police said".
Wong said that such lies would damage the justice system. "This is not an isolated incident. It happened repeatedly in recent months," he wrote'
The prosecutor also called on the justice minister to request that the police keep their ”honesty in doing their job".
Those arrested on August 30 included lawmakers Au Nok-hin, Jeremy Tam and Cheng Chung-tai, Demosisto leaders Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow, Sha Tin district councillor Rick Hui, and former University of Hong Kong student union president Althea Suen.
They were all charged over events linked to the anti-extradition bill protests that started in June, but over incidents that took place on different days and in different places.
Many critics condemned the series of arrests on that day and accused the police of trying to scare people away from taking part in the rally that was planned for the following day.
The rally and a march on August 31 were not given police approval, but thousands turned up at various places in the city in defiance of police warnings that such events would be unlawful.