Exiled Ted Hui loses fight over private prosecutions

Exiled Ted Hui loses fight over private prosecutions
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The High Court has thrown out a bid by ex-lawmaker Ted Hui to resurrect prosecutions relating to the 2019 protests that the Department of Justice (DoJ) had taken over and dropped.

Hui, who recently fled Hong Kong while facing charges of his own, launched private prosecutions against the taxi driver whose vehicle ploughed into a group of protesters in Sham Shui Po, as well as a policeman who shot and seriously wounded a student protester in Sai Wan Ho.

A magistrates’ court had given the go-ahead for the two cases, but then the DoJ stepped in and took over the prosecutions last August, before saying there was insufficient evidence and the cases had to be abandoned.

In rejecting an application for a judicial review, judge Alex Lee on Friday pointed to the fact that Hui had gone into exile overseas.

Lee said the former Democratic Party legislator had misled the courts and police into believing he was only leaving Hong Kong temporarily when he travelled to Denmark while on bail last November.

The court had “cogent reasons” to believe that Hui had not intended to face his trials for alleged protest-related offences, Lee said.

He added that not only had Hui failed to answer bail, but he had provided misleading information to the court in order to have his travel ban lifted, and this amounted to criminal contempt.

The judge said Hui’s conduct showed that he has “no regard at all” for the dignity and authority of the court and allowing his judicial review would have brought the administration of justice into disrepute.

Lee said his decision would not bar anyone from bringing civil claims against the taxi driver or the policeman.

After Denmark, Hui travelled to the UK and then later to Australia, where he said he would continue his activism.