New court date for group accused of PLA barracks break-in

15-year-old defendant who failed to find lawyer is "wasting everybody's time", says judge

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 February, 2014, 12:21pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 February, 2014, 12:21pm

Four people accused of trespassing at the People’s Liberation Army headquarters in Admiralty will return to court next month after a juvenile defendant failed to find a lawyer on time.

The four defendants – Billy Chiu Hin-ching, Dickson Cheung Hon-yin, Tse Wing-man and a 15-year-old – are accused of forcing their way into the PLA Central Barracks last month, reportedly to protest against the conversion of prime harbourfront land into a military berth.

They allegedly carried the colonial Hong Kong flag and called for the PLA to “get out” of the city.

Each faces a charge of entering a closed area without a permit.

Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai at Eastern Court postponed the case to March 20, for another pre-trial review.

She asked the juvenile defendant to contact the duty lawyer service as soon as possible, and said the defendant’s excuse that the police were late in issuing his documents was “nonsense”.

“You are wasting everybody’s time,” she said.

The four were arrested on New Year’s Day, and a fifth man, who allegedly attempted to trespass at the headquarters two days later, was also arrested.

The break-in prompted concern from Beijing and was condemned by some radical pan-democrats in Hong Kong.