Hong Kong localist Edward Leung may face retrial over Mong Kok riot charge that split jury
High Court jury had been unable to reach verdict on one count of rioting faced by former Hong Kong Indigenous spokesman and two others
Hong Kong localist Edward Leung Tin-kei may face a retrial over the Mong Kok unrest in 2016 as prosecutors have decided to pursue a rioting charge that divided the jury last month.
“The Department of Justice has informed the court of our intention to apply for a retrial,” a spokesman for the prosecutors said on Wednesday.
The former spokesman for Hong Kong Indigenous, a radical pro-independence group, was found guilty of one count of rioting, for which he faces up to 10 years in prison, but cleared of incitement following a 54-day High Court trial before a nine-member jury.
However, the jury was unable to reach a verdict on one more count of rioting faced by Leung, 26, and two other defendants, Lee Nok-man, 21, and Lam Ngo-hin, 23.
The charge against the trio centred on trouble that took place at Portland Street, Mong Kok from February 8 to 9, 2016, when the crowds clashed with officers after a hawker control operation turned ugly. The jury returned a split verdict of 6-3 despite three days of deliberation.
Prosecutors had indicated as soon as they learned of the verdict that they intended to pursue the charge alongside that faced by two other defendants – Yung Wai-yip, 32, and Yuen Chi-kui, 25 – whose cases were previously severed for a separate 30-day trial to begin on November 8 before Mr Justice Albert Wong Sung-hau.
That was confirmed by the department spokesman, who said on Wednesday prosecutors had applied for a consolidation of cases. The application would require Wong’s approval.
Leung was notified about the prosecutors’ plan last Friday, according to his defence lawyer Jonathan Man Ho-ching.
The judge has scheduled a pretrial review for July 18.
News of the possible retrial came ahead of Leung’s sentencing which is scheduled for June 11.
Leung had also pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting police, for which he apologised during his testimony in self defence.