Leung Kwok-hung seeks an assurance in the event of winning appeal A veteran activist yesterday asked government lawyers to assure him they would not seek an interpretation of the Basic Law from Beijing if he won his freedom-of-assembly case in Hong Kong's highest court. Legislator 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung was in the Court of Final Appeal seeking to have his 2002 conviction for holding an unauthorised rally overturned. With him were co-defendants Christopher Fung Ka-keung and Lo Wai-ming, also convicted under the controversial Public Order Ordinance. Mr Leung, who is representing himself, opened his case by asking whether government counsel would seek an interpretation from the National People's Congress Standing Committee if the court ruled in his favour. 'I would like to ask [Gerard McCoy SC], who was instructed by the government, whether he personally thinks they should seek an NPCSC interpretation or whether he has been given instructions to seek an interpretation,' he said. 'I would like him to tell me that the government would not seek an interpretation of the Basic Law after the judgment in this case.' Barrister Martin Lee Chu-ming SC, a fellow legislator representing Mr Fung and Mr Lo, argued that the whole scheme of the ordinance was unconstitutional. Mr Lee said the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, enshrined in the Bill of Rights Ordinance and through the Basic Law, required the government to take 'positive steps to ensure that a citizen can conduct peaceful assembly'. 'The powers given to the commissioner of police and his delegates, we say, do not pass the 'prescribed by law' test - especially the term 'ordre public' in the legislation,' he said. He cited 'ordre public' as one of the grounds for restricting the freedom of assembly under the ordinance. That concept could be used to require that organisers provide adequate water for everyone in a large protest, he said, 'putting it beyond the power of some people to afford to hold processions'. Mr Justice Kemal Bokhary, one of the court's permanent judges, said he agreed that the right of peaceful assembly was a 'fundamental freedom, central to a democracy'. But he called on the appellants not just to point out what was wrong with the ordinance. They could suggest what reasonable restrictions could be placed on that right, and how they were breached in the present case, he said. The appeal continues tomorrow before the five judges of the Court of Final Appeal. Legislative Council President Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai yesterday approved tabling of a motion, to be moved by Mr Leung next Wednesday, expressing Legco's regret over Beijing's interpretation of the Basic Law on the term of the next chief executive. Mr Leung amended the wording of his original motion, which demanded the NPC Standing Committee withdraw its ruling that the next chief executive would serve two years.