Marchers blocked roads near CY Leung residence in Central, court hears

Albert Chan insisted they surround Leung's residence on January 1 last year, court hears

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 January, 2014, 3:14am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 January, 2014, 9:40am

Protesters in the January 1 rally last year blocked roads in Central near Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's official residence, despite receiving police permission to walk in small groups to the main gate of the premises, a court heard yesterday.

Traffic was brought to a standstill for up to 1-1/2 hours on Queen's Road Central near a branch of the Bank of China because of the march, the court heard.

People Power lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip, 57, pleaded not guilty to organising and participating in an unlawful assembly on January 1, 2013.

"About 1,000 protesters were led by the defendant to the east gate of Government House, where the defendant requested the police to allow the protesters to surround Government House," prosecutor Jonathan Man Tak-ho told Eastern Court.

The march started at Moreton Terrace in Causeway Bay and paused at the east gate of Government House on Upper Albert Road at 9pm, the police said.

The protesters then asked to walk on to the main gate. The police allowed them to do so in groups of 20 to 30 people.

Chan insisted on marching in larger groups, the prosecution said.

He told the protesters to look for other routes so as to surround Government House, whereupon they walked downhill along the road, a police officer told the court.

At least 116 vehicles were trapped at the junction of Queen's Road Central and Ice House Street from 7.05pm to 7.42pm, the prosecution said.

And from 9pm to 9.35pm, at least 41 vehicles were stuck at the junction of Wyndham Street and Glenealy.

Chan was arrested the following day.

Barrister Douglas Kwok King-hin said the defence case would hinge on the meaning of "participation", but he did not elaborate.

Before the trial started, Magistrate David Chum Yau-fong informed the defence that he had played soccer twice with Chan some years ago in friendly matches organised by the Bar Association and the Legislative Council.

The defence confirmed that there would be no conflict of interest with Chum presiding over the trial.

The trial continues today.