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Occupy Central

Occupy leaders Nathan Law and Joshua Wong appeal against conviction for storming government HQ

Case will centre on legal grounds concerning city’s public order law

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 January, 2017, 1:02pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 January, 2017, 3:49pm

The appeal by legislator Nathan Law Kwun-chung and two student activist leaders, including Joshua Wong Chi-fung, against their conviction over the storming of the government headquarters just before the 2014 Occupy protests will centre on legal grounds concerning Hong Kong’s public order law.

Law, Wong and former Federation of Students secretary general Alex Chow Yong-kang were convicted last year at Eastern Court of either taking part or inciting others to take part in an illegal assembly.

The trio subsequently lodged an appeal against the conviction, with a brief pre-appeal hearing being held on Thursday morning at the High Court.

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Law said: “We have some legal grounds on the public order ordinance.”

But the lawmaker, who was elected to the Legislative Council after the conviction, added he would not reveal the full details at this stage due to the ongoing legal process.

Wong also attended the Thursday hearing, which set out a timeline for both the prosecutors and the trio to file their detailed grounds of appeal before the case is to be heard on May 22.

Chow, who is currently pursuing further studies in the United Kingdom, was absent.

He and Law – both key figures in the pro-democracy movement two years ago – were sentenced last year to 80 and 120 hours of community service respectively. Chow was given a three-week jail term, suspended for one year.

Their case centred on the three’s attempt in 2014, along with others, to storm the east wing forecourt at government headquarters in Admiralty – popularly dubbed Civic Square – setting off wider protests in the name of democracy that lasted 79 days.

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The result of the appeal will determine whether the prosecutors can press ahead with a separate bid to have the trio imprisoned. They are seeking an immediate jail sentence for the legislator and student activists after Magistrate June Cheung Tin-ngan sentenced to them to community service and a suspended jail sentence.

Cheung was reluctant to impose a deterrent sentence, saying the three had expressed their demands based on genuinely held political ideals or concern for society.

The prosecutors made an earlier appeal to Cheung following her sentencing in an attempt to change her decision, but were unsuccessful. They subsequently lodged an appeal against the sentence, which is expected to be dealt with after the trio’s appeal.