Hong Kong

Judicial review sought in shooting

By Timothy Chui (HK Edition)
Updated: 2011-01-13 07:49
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A Nepalese woman, whose husband, a permanent resident of the city, was shot and killed by a policeman, has launched a bid for a judicial review of the case.

Sonny Rai sought Wednesday to quash a finding by an inquest jury of no fault in the death of 30-year-old street sleeper, Dil Bahadur Limbu.

Limbu was slain by police officer Hui Ka-ki on a hillside near Lok Man Sun Cheun in Ho Man Tin March 17 2009.

In May 2010 the Coroner's Court found the shooting of Limbu to have been lawful.

"Like the families of those who died at the hands of a policeman in the Philippines hostage tragedy, all I wanted was a fair and proper inquest into the death of my husband at the hands of Hong Kong Police Constable Hui," she said through her spokesman, former chair of the Hong Kong Nepalese Federation, Hem Limbu.

After a 76-day inquest that failed to produce any recommendations, Rai said she was shocked at the "machine-gun" pace of the scheduled three-day hearing condensed into two hours, set by Judge Anselmo Reyes of the Court of First Instance.

Presenting his grounds for a judicial review, Philip Dykes, senior counsel for Rai, said the inquest was too narrow in scope and biased, while Coroner William Ng had misdirected the jury and improperly allowed police to keep rules of engagement training manuals confidential.

"If the inquest could examine the training and instruction of officers, the jury could make recommendations which would be helpful in preventing similar tragedies," Dykes said.

He said the inquest should have been expanded to determine by what means and in what circumstances Limbu was killed instead of only the means, while failure to bring forth police training manuals was a failure of the coroner's duty to inquire into all relevant facts.

Senior Counsel Simon Westbrook, appearing on behalf of the police commissioner, contended the hearing had been open, with all of Hui's relevant background history and work evaluations laid bare.

Hui was responding to a complaint when the shooting took place and approached Limbu alone.

According to Hui's testimony, Limbu launched himself in an unprovoked attack with a chair leg when challenged to produce ID.

It is not known whether Limbu, who was born in Hong Kong, understood Hui's commands in Cantonese, but after dropping his baton and stumbling, Hui said he was forced to open fire.

While Limbu's six prior convictions for wounding and assault surfaced at the inquest, the coroner's court also heard testimony that Hui's firearms instructors believed the officer was too eager to reach for his service revolver.

China Daily

(HK Edition 01/13/2011 page1)