A legal expert has raised concerns about incidents of members of the jury being photographed, warning these are blatant attempts to pervert the course of justice.
The trial of the Mong Kok riot accused on Friday was shut to the public after the judiciary received an email containing photographs of four jurors. The same trial experienced such an event in February when a man claiming to be a mainland tourist took pictures of the jurors.
Duncan Ho, a barrister and member of the Progressive Lawyers’ Group, said there is a need to provide training to court bailiffs and security guards so that they know how to identify and deal with people who take photos inside courtrooms.
Ho said it did not affect the fairness of the trial as the jurors didn’t even know about the incident then. But he said in his knowledge such occurrences had never taken place in Hong Kong.
Ho said in future cases the jury may have to be hidden from the public view to avoid such incidents.
He told RTHK’s Priscilla Ng that a ban on mobile phones inside the court alone may not help to protect jury members.
Article originally appeared in The Standard on 21 May 2018