Hong Kong protests: deliveryman jailed 2 months for forging signatures to help detained bomb suspect sue police


A Hong Kong court has jailed a deliveryman for two months for helping a detained bomb suspect sue police using forged signatures, in a second such conviction after a top official vowed to crack down on prison visitors perpetuating anti-government sentiments behind bars.

Ngan Hok-kin, 34, on Thursday admitted falsifying a civil claim against alleged police violence for Cheung Ka-chun, 33, while the latter was in custody.

He pleaded guilty at West Kowloon Court to conspiracy to make a false instrument.

The defence counsel said Ngan, a university degree holder, had been battling depression for five years and foolishly committed the offence out of kindness.

Security secretary Chris Tang has vowed to crack down on prison visitors spreading anti-government agendas to inmates. Photo: Jonathan Wong

But a plea for a community service order or suspended jail sentence was dismissed by acting principal magistrate Veronica Heung Shuk-han, who highlighted the crime was intended to deceive police and the court.

Security minister Chris Tang Ping-keung earlier this year vowed to take action against prison visitors who fostered hatred towards the government among those held over their involvement in the 2019 social unrest, sparked by a now-withdrawn extradition bill.

Police’s national security unit arrested Ngan and five others in June after prison officers uncovered the scheme during a review of audio recordings in Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre.

Prosecutors alleged Ngan and retiree Lin Ming-yee, 64, conspired to forge signatures for Cheung and 39-year-old Ho Cheuk-wai, another suspect held over an alleged conspiracy to attack police officers using a bomb during an anti-government protest in March 2020.
Lin was jailed for five months after pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to make a false instrument and one of intending to pervert the course of justice.

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The court heard the two visitors had paid multiple visits to the detained pair despite having no personal connections with them.

The suspects revealed during those visits their intentions to sue the force over alleged assaults in two police stations after their arrest, but were unable to file the claims within the time specified by law because they were detained and had not sought legal advice.

During a meeting on March 1, Cheung reportedly asked Ngan to find someone to sign the relevant paperwork on his behalf and insisted the crime would not come to light as long as he maintained the false signatures were his.

The deliveryman relayed the matter to Lin, who showed Cheung the signed documents in a subsequent visit five days later. The claim was filed to the High Court the same day.

Lin also helped Ho lodge a civil complaint against police using forged signatures on separate occasions.

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Lawyers for Ngan urged the court to spare him jail so he could continue to care for his aged parents, but the magistrate refused, saying imprisonment was the only appropriate sentence.

Cheung and Ho, meanwhile, denied the respective conspiracy charges against them during the same court session.

“Your Worship, I was the victim but now I become the accused. I plead not guilty,” Ho said while raising his voice.

The two will remain incarcerated before a pre-trial hearing in November.


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