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Filipino acquitted of illegal assembly wins claim for court costs

06 December 2019

By Vir B. Lumicao 


A Filipino performer at Hong Kong Disneyland has been granted his claim for legal costs
after a charge of unlawful assembly against him was dropped in Kowloon Court 10 days ago.

Magistrate Ada Yim approved the $30,000 claimed by Jethro Pioquinto for the costs he incurred while fighting his case in court. His lawyer Fiona Nam, made the application on his behalf at a hearing earlier today, Dec. 6.

Pioquinto, 36, was not in court because he was reportedly in the Philippines for a family reunion.
Before granting his claim, Yim asked the defense for a map showing the rally assembly point, the dispersal location and where Pioquinto was arrested.

“The map shows the dispersal was near the Mongkok MTR Station far from the Prince Edward Road assembly point. The defendant was carrying only his personal belongings. That’s why I am awarding his claim,” Yim said.     
Nam said that apart from the legal costs, her client will file a civil claim for damages, including loss of income during the nearly four months he was detained without bail while his case was pending.

Pioquinto was arrested during a dispersal operation by police at the corner of Argyle street and Nathan Road in Mongkok at about 11:15pm on Aug 3.
The Filipino said that he was returning from work to his boarding house on nearby Canton Road when he got caught in a rally by anti-government protesters.

He was seen on video running away when riot police charged. Officers then ganged up on him and pinned him to the ground after he stumbled. He was arrested and sent to hospital for bruises on his arm.

Yim ordered Pioquinto released on Nov. 26 after prosecutors decided to drop the charges against him and another defendant arrested that evening.

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