Court orders MTR Corp. to preserve CCTV footage of police incidents at two stations

The High Court has ordered the MTR Corporation (MTRC) to preserve CCTV footage captured on August 31 at Prince Edward and Lai Chi Kok stations pending a hearing over whether the clips must be publicly released. On the night in question, baton-wielding police stormed Prince Edward station making arrests and deploying pepper spray. They ordered journalists to leave and later moved injured people one station along to Lai Chi Kok.

Kex Leung Yiu-ting, head of Education University’s student union, was arrested at Prince Edward station on the night and said he was beaten by police. Leung said he was passing through the station and was not participating in any protest.

He applied to the court for a “Norwich Pharmacal Order” to force the disclosure of the security camera footage.

The MTRC opposed the request, and said in press releases that the relevant footage from the relevant stations would be kept for three years. The lawyer representing Leung said that it would be up to the transit firm to decide what footage would be relevant, though the MTRC did not clearly state if clips from Lai Chi Kok station would be kept, Apple Daily reported.

Judge Anderson Chow said he has no reason to question the intentions of the MTRC, but he cannot ignore the possibility that the firm may erase footage relating to Lai Chi Kok station.

Chow ruled that the recordings must be kept secure until there is a formal hearing over whether the footage must be handed over. He said that both sides should offer potential dates between this December and next March for a hearing.

prince edward mtr august 31 cctv screenshot

At 10:53pm, an evacuation was triggered at Prince Edward Station. Riot Police entered Prince Edward Station via Exit C2. Photo: MTRC.

An initial paramedics’ report at around midnight on August 31 noted that ten people had been hurt in the police raid. But the figure was adjusted about 45 minutes later to just seven, with the three in a critical condition removed from the logs. The change fuelled unsubstantiated rumours that three people had been killed, but the police, fire department and the Hospital Authority have denied the online claims.

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