A public officer told a court on Monday she was shocked and emotionally disturbed after opposition lawmaker Ted Hui Chi-fung allegedly snatched her phone in the Legislative Council with force last April.
Christina Leung Ngok-sze was giving testimony at Eastern Court, where Hui's trial opened on Monday morning.
Hui, 36, pleaded not guilty to charges of common assault, obstructing a public officer in the performance of a public duty, and obtaining access to a computer with a view to dishonest gain for oneself or another.
The Eastern Magistrates' Court heard the Democratic Party member was accused of assaulting and obstructing Leung and obtaining a phone belonging to the government in Legco last year.
Questioned by a prosecutor, Leung, a senior executive officer from the Security Bureau, said she went to Legco on April 24 to help marshal lawmakers scrutinising a government bill.
Leung and several of her colleagues were each given a phone. They were then stationed at different locations in the Legco building, and recorded lawmakers' whereabouts with the phone.
She said while she was performing her duty on the second floor, Hui walked towards her and asked if her phone belonged to the government.
I struggled with him for a few seconds, and told him there was a CCTV camera over usChristina Leung
"I put it behind my back. But he kept approaching, and tried to snatch it with his left hand … I struggled with him for a few seconds, and told him there was a CCTV camera over us," Leung recalled.
"Did he stop?" the prosecutor asked.
She responded: "No, he didn't. I couldn't resist him. He took the phone and ran away.
"He did it forcibly … I was shocked and did not know what to do, because I did not expect him to snatch my phone."
Leung added that her bosses allowed her to leave Legco after the incident because she was "too shocked and scared to continue" with her duty.
The case continues on Tuesday, with a screening of CCTV footage of the incident. Transport and Housing Bureau officials Irene Lai Wai-shan and Mark Fu Chuen-fu were also expected to give testimony as prosecution witnesses later this week. Hui remained on bail.
The trial, held on the fourth floor of the court building, was interrupted by a minor fire in a toilet on the sixth floor at about 11am.
Police officers stationed in the building put out the fire, as about 150 people were evacuated for about an hour before court proceedings resumed. No one was injured in the incident.
Common assault is punishable by a one-year jail term, while the offence of obstructing a public officer carries a maximum sentence of a HK$1,000 fine and six months in prison. Obtaining access to a computer with a view to dishonest gain carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail.
According to the Basic Law, if a lawmaker is convicted and sentenced to jail for one month or more for a criminal offence committed within or outside the city, he or she can be relieved of their duties should two-thirds of legislators support the move.
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