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Stabbing suspect 'arrested from plane ready to fly'

2020-07-02 HKT 08:58
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  • Reports say a suspect linked to the stabbing of a police officer was arrested from a plane that was about to leave the departure gate. File photo: AFP
    Reports say a suspect linked to the stabbing of a police officer was arrested from a plane that was about to leave the departure gate. File photo: AFP
Police said they have arrested a man in relation to the stabbing of an officer during Wednesday's July 1 protests in Causeway Bay, with reports saying he was hauled off a plane moments before its departure to London.

Local newspaper Apple Daily, citing unnamed sources, said the arrested man was a passenger onboard a Cathay Pacific flight to London due to depart just before midnight.

A witness said that "around 10 minutes before take-off, three police vehicles drove towards No 64 gate, outside the Cathay Pacific plane" and around 10 riot police ran up the bridge to the aircraft.

A police source, requesting anonymity, told AFP the man was pulled from Cathay Pacific flight CX251 to London, moments before it was due to leave the departure gate.

"He bought a ticket last minute. He was the only passenger on the flight to have purchased a ticket so late and had no check-in baggage with him," the source was quoted as saying.

The flight was delayed for nearly an hour according to Hong Kong International Airport's record.

Police said the stabbing incident occurred at about 4pm on Wednesday when the officers conducted an operation on Causeway Road near Hing Fat Street. They were dispersing protesters outside the Central Library when the officer was stabbed on the left shoulder.

Police had also uploaded a gruesome picture of a policeman with what appeared to be a serious wound to his arm. The police had also said in the social media that "the bystanders offered no helping hand" and that the suspects fled.

Soon after the incident, former Chief Executive CY Leung had posted on his Facebook page that a bounty of HK$500,000 would be offered to anyone helping catch the suspects and that confidentiality would be ensured.

The money would come via 803.hk, a website linked to Leung, which offers "crowdfunded" rewards for information leading to the prosecution of some anti-government protesters.

The name of the site refers to an incident on August 3 last year when a national flag was thrown into the sea during a protest.

Violence had erupted in parts of Hong Kong Island as police and protesters clashed a day after Beijing implemented a new national security law in the SAR.

Police said they had arrested at least 370 people – including 10 for offences under the new law. (Additional reporting by Reuters, AFP)

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Last updated: 2020-07-02 HKT 13:55