Second Hong Kong localist issued arrest warrant for violating bail terms before Mong Kok riot trial
Court order comes week after another activist charged in last year’s unrest in busy shopping district failed to return his passport following trip to Europe
A second man alleged to have taken part in a riot in a busy Hong Kong shopping district last year was hit with an arrest warrant on Saturday, a week after a leading pro-independence activist was served a similar order.
The High Court issued the warrant for Li Tung-sing, making him the second person sought ahead of a riot trial due to take place next month. Li was found to have violated his bail conditions, as was Ray Wong Toi-yeung, who led the once-active radical group Hong Kong Indigenous.
Neither Wong nor Li appeared at the hearing on Saturday. It was held in preparation for the trial slated to open on January 18.
At the closed-door proceeding, Madam Justice Anthea Pang Po-kam issued a second arrest warrant for Wong. It supersedes the first warrant issued for the activist on December 1 after he failed to return his passport to police on November 22 following a judge-approved trip to Germany.
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Wong was granted bail weeks after the disturbances last year on HK$100,000 cash bail and a HK$100,000 cash surety from his mother. He was also ordered to live at a reported address and remain in Hong Kong.
Anyone subject to an arrest warrant made by the court in such circumstances risks being held in custody until the trial begins.
Prosecutors said the developments meant the two men would be dealt with separately from the trial.
Eight defendants, including Wong’s fellow Indigenous member Edward Leung Tin-kei, face various riot-related and assault charges in connection with unrest that engulfed the busy shopping district of Mong Kok on the night of February 8 last year. The riot continued into the next morning.
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The judge also imposed new bail conditions on the rest of the six, requiring them to hand over their travel documents on Monday and not to leave Hong Kong.
Asked on Saturday whether the conditions would affect him, Leung said “of course” before leaving court.
Wong faces one count of incitement to unlawful assembly, a joint charge with Leung of incitement to riot, and a joint count of rioting with Leung and others.
Leung faces an additional joint count of rioting with Li and others, and one of assaulting a police officer. Li faces a separate count of assaulting a police officer.
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The rest of the defendants are Lam Lun-hing, Lam Ngo-hin, Lee Nok-man, Lo Kin-man and Wong Ka-kui.
They face some of the charges that Leung, Li and Wong are facing.
If found guilty of rioting, the defendants face a maximum jail sentence of 10 years.