• Lai Yun-long allegedly kicked Chinese state newspaper journalist Fu Guohao and poked him with an American flag during protests at airport
  • Eastern Court adjourns case to October 28 for further police inquiries, including investigating involvement of others in assault
Anti-government protesters assaulted Global Times journalist Fu Guohao at Hong Kong International Airport suspecting him to be a spy of the Chinese government. Photo: Sam Tsang

A court on Monday denied bail to a part-time hotel waiter allegedly involved in beating a journalist from mainland China at Hong Kong International Airport.

Lai Yun-long, 19, was accused of assaulting Fu Guohao, who works for Chinese state newspaper Global Times.

The incident took place overnight between August 13 and 14, when protesters blocked the paths of outbound travellers at the airport's departure hall and grounded hundreds of flights.

At Eastern Court, Lai faced one count of wounding, one of assault causing bodily harm and another of taking part in an unlawful assembly.

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Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai rejected his bail application and adjourned the case to October 28 for further police inquiries, which included finding relevant video footage and investigating the involvement of others in the case.

Sparked by the now-shelved extradition bill, the anti-government protest at the airport had started off peaceful. Black-clad protesters joined a sit-in at the arrival hall that started on August 9, in an attempt to rally overseas support via incoming travellers.

But on the fifth day of the mass sit-in, pandemonium reigned over the departure hall as the protesters sat in the path of outbound travellers and forced the cancellation of some 421 flights that day.

The chaos triggered an interim injunction issued by the High Court to ban demonstrations everywhere in the airport except in two designated zones in the arrival hall.

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On the night of August 13, angry protesters surrounded Fu and another man in the departure hall on separate occasions, suspecting them to be spies of the Chinese government. The protesters also tied their hands and feet, beat them and even blocked paramedics coming to their rescue.

Lai allegedly attacked Fu on two occasions. He allegedly kicked Fu and poked him with an American flag when he was challenged by protesters. Later, he allegedly hit Fu again when the latter was being carried away by paramedics.

Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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