The High Court has granted social worker Lau Ka-tung bail pending an appeal against his conviction and prison sentence for obstructing a police officer during an anti-government protest in Yuen Long last July.
Judge Poon Siu-tung said he made the decision after assessing the applicant’s chances of winning his appeal, and based his decision on the videos presented in court this morning, which clearly showed what happened at the time.
Supporters of Lau who were in the court room greeted the verdict with a loud applause.
Lau's lawyer argued that the 24-year-old has a high chance of winning the appeal, as videos presented in court clearly show that he had not challenged or confronted the police, was simply pleading for officers to give protesters a bit more time to retreat, and that officers could have easily gone around him.
A lawyer for the prosecution, however, stressed that Lau had intentionally blocked the police and refused to leave the scene despite repeated warnings.
A large group of people – many of them social workers – had earlier gathered outside court to support the defendant.
He was sentenced to a one year jail term last week after the Fanling Magistracy found him guilty of delaying officers’ movement by standing in front of the police cordon during a clearance operation on On Lok Road.