Asia

7 Hong Kong police guilty in activist's 2014 filmed beating

  • Five of the seven Hong Kong police officers, from left, Police Constable Wong Wai-ho, Police Constable Lau Hing-pui, Senior Inspector Lau Cheuk-ngai, Sergeant Pak Wing-bun and Police Constable Kwan Ka-ho arrive the District Court in Hong Kong Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017 as they were charged with assaulting a pro-democracy activist in an incident on Oct. 15 2014. Seven Hong Kong police officers have been found guilty of a lesser charge in the assault of a pro-democracy activist whose videotaped beating during the height of 2014 pro-democracy protests sparked outrage. A district court judge found the seven officers guilty of one joint count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

    Five of the seven Hong Kong police officers, from left, Police Constable Wong Wai-ho, Police Constable Lau Hing-pui, Senior Inspector Lau Cheuk-ngai, Sergeant Pak Wing-bun and Police Constable Kwan Ka-ho arrive the District Court in Hong Kong Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017 as they were charged with assaulting a pro-democracy activist in an incident on Oct. 15 2014. Seven Hong Kong police officers have been found guilty of a lesser charge in the assault of a pro-democracy activist whose videotaped beating during the height of 2014 pro-democracy protests sparked outrage. A district court judge found the seven officers guilty of one joint count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)  (The Associated Press)

  • Police supporters shout slogans and hold placards to support seven Hong Kong police officers who were charged with assaulting a pro-democracy activist, outside the District Court in Hong Kong Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. Seven Hong Kong police officers have been found guilty of a lesser charge in the assault of a pro-democracy activist whose videotaped beating during the height of 2014 pro-democracy protests sparked outrage. A district court judge found the seven officers guilty of one joint count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

    Police supporters shout slogans and hold placards to support seven Hong Kong police officers who were charged with assaulting a pro-democracy activist, outside the District Court in Hong Kong Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. Seven Hong Kong police officers have been found guilty of a lesser charge in the assault of a pro-democracy activist whose videotaped beating during the height of 2014 pro-democracy protests sparked outrage. A district court judge found the seven officers guilty of one joint count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)  (The Associated Press)

  • Five of the seven Hong Kong police officers, from left, Police Constable Wong Wai-ho, Police Constable Lau Hing-pui, Senior Inspector Lau Cheuk-ngai, Sergeant Pak Wing-bun and Police Constable Kwan Ka-ho arrive the District Court in Hong Kong Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017 as they were charged with assaulting a pro-democracy activist in an incident on Oct. 15 2014. Seven Hong Kong police officers have been found guilty of a lesser charge in the assault of a pro-democracy activist whose videotaped beating during the height of 2014 pro-democracy protests sparked outrage. A district court judge found the seven officers guilty of one joint count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

    Five of the seven Hong Kong police officers, from left, Police Constable Wong Wai-ho, Police Constable Lau Hing-pui, Senior Inspector Lau Cheuk-ngai, Sergeant Pak Wing-bun and Police Constable Kwan Ka-ho arrive the District Court in Hong Kong Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017 as they were charged with assaulting a pro-democracy activist in an incident on Oct. 15 2014. Seven Hong Kong police officers have been found guilty of a lesser charge in the assault of a pro-democracy activist whose videotaped beating during the height of 2014 pro-democracy protests sparked outrage. A district court judge found the seven officers guilty of one joint count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)  (The Associated Press)

Seven Hong Kong police officers were convicted Tuesday of a lesser charge in the assault of a pro-democracy activist whose videotaped beating during the height of 2014 pro-democracy protests sparked outrage.

A judge found the seven officers guilty of one joint count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in their attack on Ken Tsang. He was part of a group of protesters involved in a pre-dawn clash with police over Beijing's plans to restrict elections for the semiautonomous Chinese city.

The officers, who are due to be sentenced later, face up to three years in prison.

During the scuffle on Oct. 15, 2014, TV news cameras caught officers kicking and punching a handcuffed Tsang in a dark corner of a nearby park.

Tsang himself was convicted last year of assaulting police and resisting arrest in relation to the incident and sentenced to five weeks in prison.

Prosecutors in that case accused Tsang of splashing liquid from a bottle on police as they tried to clear protesters from an underpass next to government headquarters, while Tsang said the charges were politically motivated. The incident occurred during the "Umbrella Movement" protests that brought streets in the Asian financial hub to a standstill for 79 days.

District Court Judge David Dufton said he was satisfied with the prosecution's case that officers carried Tsang by his arms and legs and took him behind a park building, "where he was dumped on the ground and immediately assaulted" by five officers stamping and kicking him while two others watched, according to a press summary of the ruling.

Dufton said Tsang's injuries, including circular reddish bruises on his neck and back, did not amount to grievous bodily harm, a more serious charge that carries a maximum life sentence.

When Tsang was later taken to a police station, he was slapped twice by one of the officers, who was convicted of a separate charge of common assault, which is punishable by up to one year in prison.

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Video of beating: https://youtu.be/oGwVXBEvPcs

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Follow Kelvin Chan at twitter.com/chanman