Activists arrested after Legco protests could face fresh charges
Prosecutor asks for police and Justice Department to be given four more weeks to prepare cases against three protesters charged on Tuesday
Police have not ruled out the possibility of entering new charges against three activists arrested for their parts in protests against a new-towns project outside the Legislative Council complex, Eastern Court heard on Tuesday.
Senior prosecutor Ned Lai Ka-yee – who asked Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai to give police and the department four extra weeks to prepare cases – also said more arrests might be made in relation to the cases.
Activist and founder of Civic Passion, Wong Yeung-tat, was charged in court on Tuesday with one count of participating in an unlawful assembly and one of attempting to forcibly enter the Legco building.
Both alleged offences occurred on June 6 during a protest against the government’s plans to build new towns in the northeastern New Territories.
Wong is accused of taking part in a protest that became an unlawful gathering when other participants began to act in an intimidating, insulting or provocative manner that might have provoked a breach of the peace.
The law states that all participants in the protest are liable if any protesters behave in a way that might provoke a breach of the peace.
In court on Tuesday, the prosecutor asked for changes to be made to the wording of both charges, including replacing the specified location where the offence allegedly took place from Admiralty to the more general “Hong Kong”.
Wong did not object to the changes, the court heard.
Also receiving their charges related to a separate protest were Cheung Kwai-choi, 48, and chef Chan Nin, 30.
Cheung is a member of the Ping Che/Ta Kwu Ling Alliance For Homeland Protection concern group, formed to fight the government’s New Territories plan.
A Fanling resident, Cheung is accused of illegally entering and remaining in the Legislative Council complex on June 13, while Chan was charged with assaulting a police officer, named as Cheng Kin-chak, on the same day.
The activists were accompanied by supporters on Tuesday as they entered the court to learn their charges.
After the hearing, members of Civic Passion and the alliance chanted slogans outside court denouncing the charges and the government’s new-towns plan.
All three have not entered a plea. They were released on bail until the next hearing on July 22.