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Judge’s Niece Stays in Jail After Bail Appeal Fails

A Hong Kong judge’s niece was refused bail and ordered to stay in jail after violating probation conditions in a police assault case.

High Court Judge Alan Wright today refused the request from lawyers for Amina Mariam Bokhary, who was jailed yesterday by Magistrate Amanda Woodcock. 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.

Woodcock yesterday had also declined an offer of HK$100,000 ($12,856) bail for Bokhary, the niece of Court of Final Appeal Justice Kemal Bokhary. Amina, 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.

One of her lawyers, Peter Duncan, told the hearing yesterday that 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 Hong Kong SAR v Amina Mariam Bokhary HCMA960/2010 in the Hong Kong High Court.

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