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Judge’s Niece Jailed for 6 Weeks for Police Assault

A Hong Kong judge’s niece was ordered to spend six weeks in prison after violating terms of the year’s probation she received for assaulting a police officer.

“It is clear a caution or fine is no longer sufficient,” Magistrate Amanda Woodcock said today when ordering Amina Mariam Bokhary jailed. Bokhary’s probation, on her third conviction for police assaults, was criticized by law enforcement groups and others in Hong Kong for being too lenient.

Lawyers for Bokhary, the niece of Court of Final Appeal Justice Kemal Bokhary, proposed that their client be freed on HK$100,000 ($12,856) bail while they work on an appeal. Woodcock declined, saying she didn’t see an appeal as being likely to succeed.

Amina Bokhary, 34, breached five of seven conditions laid down in her probation. She had two prior convictions for assaulting police officers that resulted in fines and community service.

An appeal of Bokhary’s jail sentence will be filed today, her lawyer Christopher Morley said by e-mail.

Another of her lawyers, Peter Duncan, told the hearing Bokhary had breached the conditions, including failing to contact her probation officer since October, after becoming paranoid over “the media publicity surrounding the case” and felt that “she had become a target of abuse.”

The Department of Justice had applied to the Hong Kong High Court for a review of Bokhary’s probation sentence, saying a prison sentence would have been more appropriate for a repeat offense of assaulting a police officer and failing to submit to a breath test. A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 11.

Bokhary crashed her vehicle into a bus while driving on the wrong side of the road on Jan. 27. A local television crew captured her slapping police officer Tang Man-wai on camera. She was also fined in August for careless driving.

The case is Amina Mariam Bokhary ESCC1354/2010 in the Eastern Magistrates Court of Hong Kong.

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