Prosecution of train fare protesters is 'political'
Two young activists who protested against rising train fares when the transport minister was speaking at a public event deny allegations of disorderly behaviour.
Chow Nok-hang, 27, and Anson Wong Hin-wai, 23, members of the League of Social Democrats, pleaded not guilty at Eastern Court yesterday to behaving in a disorderly manner. The league is a radical political grouping whose members include 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung.
The two are charged with being noisy or disorderly with intent to provoke a breach of the peace.
Outside court, flanked by league lawmaker Leung, they shouted: 'We object to political prosecution.'
A pre-trial review has been scheduled for September 8. The prosecution said it would call 11 witnesses.
In April, at the 'MTR Hong Kong Race Walking' event in Statue Square, Central, where Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng was speaking, Chow and Wong protested over a fare increase by the MTR of 2.3 per cent - a rise of from 10 to 20 HK cents per ride - from June.
One of the two defendants allegedly threw 'hell banknotes' - paper offerings for the dead - at Cheng. The other allegedly rushed on to the stage and grabbed Cheng's microphone.