Garry Pang, the Hong Kong pastor and YouTube content creator/vlogger facing trial for his alleged seditious act, questioned on Monday the accuracy of the transcript of a voice recording relevant to his case.
Question on Transcript's Accuracy
According to a report by the Hong Kong Free Press, public prosecutor Betty Fu presented their first witness, a police officer surnamed Cheung, back in January.
Officer Cheung reportedly transcribed the voice recording of the Jan. 4 court hearing in which Pang was present.
During the playback of the audio recording on Monday, the court attendees heard Chow Hang-tung, a pro-democracy activist, make her mitigation speech.
A voice can be heard saying in Cantonese: "you have lost your conscience," which officer Cheung said belonged to Pang.
During the Jan. 4 court hearing, Pang and another accused, 67-year-old Chiu Mei-ying, allegedly made "seditious" comments while Chow delivered her mitigation speech.
According to the report, Pang questioned on Monday's hearing officer Cheung's Jan. 4 audio transcription that identified him as the person who made the allegedly seditious comment.
Pang asked the manner by which Cheung concluded that it was him who uttered the "seditious" remark at Chow's court hearing.
Pang, who represented himself instead of hiring a lawyer, likewise questioned Cheung's investigation report relative to the sedition charges against him.
Pang added that upon comparison, some of the comments officer Cheung indicated in his transcription did not match what was in the audio recording.
He asked officer Cheung if he had previously heard his voice before listening to the Jan. 4 recording.
The officer answered "no," and explained he based his identification of Pang on other materials relevant to the investigation.
Pang then clarified with officer Cheung if he did not get the information identifying Pang in the transcript from the audio recording, to which the latter said "yes."
Aside from casting doubts on officer Cheung's method of identifying Pang as the man heard in the recording, the pastor also questioned the officer's description of his clothing on Jan. 4.
According to officer Cheung's audio transcript, Pang wore 'a black face mask and black-framed eyeglasses, a pair of black trousers, and a black long-sleeved top.'
Pang then presented screen captures on the day he allegedly wore the clothing identified by Cheung, which clearly showed him wearing a white surgical face mask and a short-sleeved top.
During Monday's hearing, Pang manifested to the court his prayer for the court to dismiss the charges against him.
The pastor argued that the sedition case for which he and Chiu are charged stemmed from "ancient laws."
Pang made the argument, stating that the phrase "Her Majesty" in the country's laws shows that colonial laws are used to charge current crimes like sedition.
The news said that the pastor referred to the Crimes Ordinance. This colonial-era law penalizes anyone who incites or commits sedition (in word and deed) versus the British monarchy.
A separate report by Persecution.org disclosed that Pang had applied several times for bail, but the court has repeatedly denied his applications.