League of Social Democrats pair fined for unlawful assembly at liaison office

Two other activists acquitted for role in protest outside Beijing's liaison office

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 March, 2014, 4:09am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 March, 2014, 4:09am

Two League of Social Democrats activists who charged barriers during an anti-government protest in 2012 have been fined HK$5,000 each for unlawful assembly, while two others were acquitted.

Wong Ho-Ming, 25, elected a vice-chairman of the party last week, and Kenneth Cheung Kam-Hung, 39, denied unlawful assembly but were convicted of one count each after a trial at Eastern Court yesterday.

Wong's fellow vice-chairman, Avery Ng Man-Yuen, 36, was acquitted along with Ma Wan-Ki, 19. Co-defendant Yang Kuang, who pleaded guilty, was absent yesterday. He was reportedly detained in Shenzhen in December.

The pair were said to have rocked and knocked over police barriers during a 300-strong protest against the appointment of Leung Chun-ying as chief executive at the central government's liaison office in Sai Wan.

The court heard that the protesters had permission to march to the south gate of the office, but that they continued to the north gate, the front entrance, and charged the barriers.

Wong submitted a statement of mitigation consisting of 16 Chinese characters, in which he expressed no remorse.

Sentencing the pair, Magistrate Ho Wai-yang said they had no record for similar crimes, did not hurt anyone and their actions did not last long.

She said video evidence did not prove Ng was leading protesters to break through police defences, as the prosecution said.

Yang, who changed his plea to guilty in September so he could be given permission to leave Hong Kong for his honeymoon, "had not returned to Hong Kong", prosecutor David Leung told the court.

Ho issued a warrant for Yang's arrest and release on HK$2,000 bail on condition he does not leave Hong Kong. His wife, Liu Shasha, says he was detained for illegally entering the mainland.

Prosecutors dropped charges against Lee Kin-Yun and Wong Chun-kok after they admitted the facts of the case and agreed to be bound over for one year.