Woman who set off firecrackers outside US consulate in Hong Kong fined HK$400

Visitor from mainland sought to bring attention to grievances against Chinese authorities over her grandfather

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 July, 2017, 8:08pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 July, 2017, 10:51pm

A mainland woman who set off firecrackers outside the US consulate in a bid to draw media attention to her grievances with Chinese authorities was fined HK$400 by a Hong Kong court on Thursday.

The Eastern Court heard Luo Longya, 71, mumbled in response to her sentencing: “The Communist Party is my grandfather’s.”

A man claiming to be her son, Tsui Kwok-tung, explained outside court that his grandfather helped found the party. Tsui added that his family assets in Singapore could buy “the entire planet”. He handed out name cards identifying himself as “the fifth chief executive candidates”.

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The court heard Luo entered Hong Kong last Thursday morning on a two-way permit and immediately travelled to the US consulate.

Consulate security guard Leung Wing-yin recalled hearing a loud bang that lasted about two seconds.

He went out to find Luo standing beside a pile of firecracker ashes and broken pieces of paper. A police report was filed.

She later told investigators through a Xiang-speaking interpreter that she had bought the firecrackers on the mainland and set them off to draw media attention to the case of her grandfather, whom she claimed had been swindled. She said authorities on the mainland had not handled her complaint.

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On Thursday, Luo pleaded guilty to one count of discharging fireworks without a permit. The offence is punishable by a HK$2,000 fine.

She said in mitigation “the miscarriage of justice” gave her no choice but to set off the firecrackers to tell more people about her grandfather. She claimed she did not know it was unlawful to do so without a permit in Hong Kong.

“I hope you will sympathise,” she added.

A fine was imposed after deputy magistrate Jacky Ip Kai-leung accepted Luo may have unknowingly violated the law and used an improper method arising from a moment’s stupidity.