Two fugitives recently jailed in Hong Kong for obstructing criminal justice by attempting to flee to Taiwan by boat have each received an additional 21 months behind bars for keeping 22 semi-finished petrol bombs and other dangerous items. Liu Tsz-man, 19, and Cheng Tsz-ho, 20, were handed the sentences by the District Court on Saturday, a day after they were sent to prison for 10 months for jumping bail as they made their asylum bid with 10 others in August 2020. The group faced charges linked to the 2019 anti-government protests. Prosecutors had charged the pair and three other accomplices with conspiracy to commit arson over the haul of chemicals seized from an Airbnb rental flat in Wan Chai ahead of National Day on October 1, 2019. 7 Hong Kong fugitives jailed for 10 months each for thwarted escape to Taiwan Liu and Cheng, as well as fashion designer Cheng Chun, 34, and waiter Li Wai-lung, 28, each pleaded guilty to a lesser count of possessing articles with intent to damage or destroy property following a plea bargain. The fifth defendant, 32-year-old Tang Kai-yin, is still serving time across the border for plotting the 12 fugitives’ escape. Judge Douglas Yau Tak-hong on Saturday said in sentencing the first four that the case involved a medium-sized bomb plot with clear premeditation and planning to support the violent demonstrations three years ago. “Although the defendants were not arrested at the scene of violence, the case involved multiple accomplices, with the evidence pointing to their intention of providing petrol bombs to protesters,” Yau said. Li received the heaviest penalty with 38 months in jail for his high level of involvement in the scheme, whereas Cheng Chun got 29 months. Liu and Cheng Tsz-ho were respectively jailed for 27 and 28 months in the present case. But Yau ordered parts of their jail terms in this case to be served concurrently with Friday’s sentences, for a total length of 31 months for each of them. “The two defendants were young and ignorant, falsely believing other people’s clever talk that they could get away with it,” the judge said. “But things did not turn out their way, as they went through the mill and returned to where they started.” The court heard in an earlier session in May that police intercepted Cheng Chun and Tang outside Kam Lok Mansion on Lockhart Road just as they were returning on the night of September 30, 2019. Police broke into the flat and found Cheng Tsz-ho in one bedroom, with Li and Liu trying to escape via the window of an adjacent room. All three were later arrested. Officers found in an open kitchen 22 semi-finished petrol bombs, many of which were inserted with pins. Other chemicals and items seized included 4.07 litres of petrol, 1.36 litres of organic solvents, 14 lighters as well as magnesium, aluminium and iron oxide powders. A government chemist was of the view that the defendants could produce 16 petrol bombs with the materials found in the flat. Hong Kong fugitives admit possessing petrol, other chemicals for making bombs Cheng Chun told investigators he had gone to the flat “out of curiosity” after knowing Tang was looking to produce petrol bombs on the site. He claimed he was only there to drink and watch television with Tang’s friends. But police later found in the designer’s mobile phone pictures and video footage of how to prepare the incendiary devices. Messaging logs on the phone also showed some of the defendants had discussed attacking police with the bombs during demonstrations on National Day. Liu and Cheng Tsz-ho were among 12 fugitives caught in mainland Chinese waters after they boarded a Taiwan-bound speedboat in Sai Kung on August 23, 2020, hoping to evade criminal proceedings. Cheng Tsz-ho had previously spent seven months at a Shenzhen prison for illegally crossing the national border. Liu avoided prosecution on the mainland due to his young age but had been incarcerated there for four months.