Diaoyu Islands activist Yang Kuang lost a HK$500 surety yesterday after turning up 2 ½ hours late to court, where he was one of seven defendants standing trial for unlawful assembly.
Magistrate Ho Wai-yang warned that Yang could be detained if he was late again.
After fellow defendant Wong Chun-kwok was given a one-year bond and allowed to leave court without a criminal conviction, Yang asked for similar treatment. But his request was turned down by the prosecution.
The trial of Yang - skipper of the boat that sailed to the Diaoyu Islands to assert Chinese sovereignty last year - and the five other remaining defendants is expected to last five days. Police video footage will be screened and 18 witnesses called.
League of Social Democrats vice-chairman Avery Ng Man-yuen, Raphael Wong Ho-ming, Ma Wan-ki, gay-rights activist Kenneth Cheung Kam-hung, and Macau-based Lee Kin-yun, are accused with Yang of unlawful assembly at the central government liaison office in Western district a week after Leung Chun-ying was elected chief executive.
Thousands had earlier marched in protest at Beijing's alleged interference in the election.