A former executive member of the group behind Hong Kong’s annual Tiananmen Square vigil has been jailed for three months for failing to assist a police investigation into its alleged violation of the national security law. Simon Leung Kam-wai, formerly a standing committee member of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, was the first to be found guilty and sentenced for breaching the implementation rules of the Beijing-imposed legislation, which outlaws acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The 36-year-old chairman of Kwai Tsing District Council pleaded guilty before West Kowloon Court on Wednesday, having previously denied the offence of failing to comply with a notice to provide information alongside four comrades. “Any excuse will serve the prosecution. I plead guilty,” he said. Acting chief magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen said the organised and deliberate nature of the offence called for immediate imprisonment, particularly when the materials sought from the now-disbanded alliance were for a police investigation into “a serious matter”. “The facts of the case showed that … the information requested did exist, but the defendants deliberately refused to give it to police,” said Law, who is among the few jurists hand-picked by the city leader to adjudicate national security proceedings. Leung was sentenced at the District Court last week to nine months in jail for inciting and taking part in last year’s banned June 4 vigil. Tiananmen vigil group leader pleads guilty over illegal Hong Kong gathering On Wednesday, Law ordered two months in the latest sentence to be served consecutively to his existing jail term, for a total of 11 months behind bars. Leung was among five alliance executives arrested on September 8 for refusing to furnish national security officers with details about the group’s members, financial reports and activities. The implementation rules empower the police commissioner to request a range of information from a suspected foreign agent or one with links to Taiwan. But Leung pleaded not guilty in the first hearing in September, as did alliance vice-chairwoman Chow Hang-tung, 36, and standing committee members Tsui Hon-kwong, 72, Tang Ngok-kwan, 53, and Chan To-wai, 57. They argued the alliance was not a foreign agent and had no obligation to heed the request. Defence counsel also contended the alleged offence ran contrary to the common law protection that accused persons should not be forced to incriminate themselves. A summary of the prosecution’s case read out in court contained no allegations of the alliance being a foreign agent or under suspicion of national security offences. Prosecutor Ivan Cheung Cheuk-kan said police seized 39 requested items in the alliance’s June 4 museum in Mong Kok and a warehouse in Kwai Chung, one day after arresting the five accused. Those materials included the group’s annual reports, minutes of meetings, bank records and letters. Leung admitted under caution he had received a notice to provide information and responded in an open letter indicating the alliance would not cooperate. Tiananmen vigil pair refuse bail, saying there is no liberty without free speech The remaining defendants who denied the charge will return to West Kowloon Court on January 25 for a pre-trial review hearing. The offence is punishable by up to six months in jail and a HK$100,000 (US$12,820) fine. The alliance has been charged alongside Chow, group chairman Lee Cheuk-yan and vice-chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan with inciting subversion. The case will be heard again on January 10. Chow, who is currently serving a 12-month jail sentence over last year’s banned June 4 vigil, applied for bail for the 11th time since her prosecution in September. Law dismissed her bid again, however, citing no material change of circumstances that would justify a reversal of the decision to remand her in custody. Chow has reserved her right to renew her application on New Year’s Eve.