Broadcasters face new court date

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 March, 2010, 12:00am

Activists from rebel broadcaster Citizens' Radio were served with further summonses yesterday, accused of using unlicensed equipment on two occasions to broadcast in August.

Station founder Tsang Kin-shing said the summonses, sent to former lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung, Democrat Tik Chi-yuen and himself, referred to an illegal broadcast at a street forum in Mong Kok, while two other activists - Spooky Chan and Wong Chun-kwok - also received the summonses for broadcasting regular shows in Chai Wan the same month.

All must appear in Eastern Court on Thursday next week.

The outlawed station has been the subject of a series of court cases for repeatedly going on air without a licence since 2005 in its bid to open the public airwaves. Nearly 100 summonses have been served on activists who hosted programmes or appeared as guest speakers.

But Tsang said they would continue broadcasting. 'It is an act of civil disobedience, as we want to protect the freedom of speech in Hong Kong. The government should open the public airwaves,' he said.

He added that they had still to pay a court fine of HK$42,000 one month after the deadline passed.

Fellow activists Poon Tat-keung, Law Hom-chau, Yeung Hong, together with Tsang and Leung, were arrested in December for failing to pay a fine for breaching the Telecommunications Ordinance. The court had given them until February 1 to pay.

Tsang said they would not pay anything despite the court order, but no action had been taken against them so far.

A spokesman for the judiciary declined to comment on individual cases.

In another case in December, eight political activists, including veteran democrat Szeto Wah, were fined HK$1,000 each for breaching the same ordinance. They have also vowed not to pay the fines.