- Husband and wife also accused of inciting others to commit a breach of peace and both face 12 months in jail
- Prosecutors ask for more time to locate witnesses and review security footage – with case to resume on January 29
A Hong Kong couple accused of shouting profanities while a man was set on fire in Ma On Shan earlier this month has been charged with disorderly conduct.
Chan Hoi-wan, 33, and her husband Kwong Yiu-man, 39, were on Wednesday taken to Eastern Court, where prosecutors said the victim remained unconscious in hospital.
The defendants, who said they worked as clerks, were accused of "shouting in a provocative way" and inciting others to commit a breach of peace.
The offence was said to have taken place on the On Chun Street footbridge connecting Ma On Shan Plaza and Ma On Shan Park on November 11.
Each defendant faces one count of behaving in a disorderly manner in a public place, an offence punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a HK$5,000 (US$638) fine.
They were not required to enter a plea after Senior Court Prosecutor Tsang Siu-ling revealed that investigators needed more time to locate witnesses and video recordings, and review security footage.
The prosecutor applied for an anonymity order to protect the burn victim's identity, citing concern for his personal safety because of the sensitivity of the case.
Defence counsel Wong Hok-yan voiced objections and argued that there was a need to take into account the public's right to know.
But Magistrate Lam Tsz-kan dismissed the challenge and issued an order for the victim to be referred to as "X" from now on.
Both defendants were granted cash bail of HK$1,000 with the condition they report to police once a week, avoid the alleged offence location and return to court on January 29.
A spokeswoman for the Fire Services Department said the victim had suffered second-degree burns on 44 per cent of his body, mainly his chest and arms.
Police classified the case as attempted murder.
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