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Legislative Council oath-taking saga

Ousted Hong Kong legislators Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching deny unlawful assembly

Pair and three assistants charged over incident in Legco building last year

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 May, 2017, 6:35pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 May, 2017, 2:23am

Two disqualified pro-Hong Kong independence lawmakers-elect and their personal assistants, accused of storming into a parliamentary meeting last November, maintained their innocence before a court on Friday.

Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang, 30, and Yau Wai-ching, 25, and their three assistants pleaded not guilty at Eastern Court to one joint count of unlawful assembly over the storming which took place outside a conference room at the city’s Legislative Council on November 2, 2016.

The three assistants were Yeung Lai-hong, 24, Chung Suet-ying, 25, and Cheung Tsz-lung, 29.

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The five also denied a second joint count of forcible entry, but could only be found guilty of either one of the counts, as the second charge is an alternative to the first.

Their prosecution came just months after a court disqualified Leung and Yau over their anti-China oath-taking antics.

After hearing allegations against them in court on Friday, all the defendants said: “I plead not guilty to the charge.”

Deputy director of public prosecutions David Leung Cheuk-yin SC revealed that the case would involve 20 witnesses, with more than 70 hours worth of video evidence.

Yau and Leung found themselves at the centre of a political storm last year after they added anti-China insults to their Legco members’ oaths. That prompted Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to take legal action which led to the city’s court ousting the pair in December.

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Their case to overturn the lower courts’ rulings – and in turn re-enter Legco – will be heard at the Court of Final Appeal.

Barrister Douglas Kwok King-hin, for the pair, asked the magistrates’ court for time to speak to the pair’s other legal team about the Court of Final Appeal case.

“[It would] have a significant bearing on the kind of advice I’d be giving the defendants,” he said.

But Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai turned down the request.

The magistrate granted the defendants bail and adjourned the case to July 14 for a pretrial hearing.