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Edward Leung, with Lo Kin-man and Wong Ka-kui in front of him, after the three were convicted of ‘riot’-related offenses at the Hong Kong HIgh Court on Friday, May 18, 2018 (photo: Winson Wong)

Overview of trials related to police-protester clashes in Mong Kok on 8–9 February 2016

The following is intended to provide a quick overview of all trials related to clashes between police and demonstrators in Mong Kok, Hong Kong on the night of 8 to 9 February 2016. It is published near the conclusion of the last trials. On 22 March 2019, verdicts were issued in the last trials. Two of those convicted will have a sentencing hearing on 4 April 2019. Some of those convicted are appealing their sentences. See here for a full account of the Mong Kok ‘riot’ trials.

As of 22 March 2019, 90 people were arrested and initially 51 charged. Charges were then dropped against 20 due to insufficient evidence. Six were later arrested. In all, 37 were prosecuted. 36 trials have been completed (excepting sentencing in two cases), resulting in 27 defendants being convicted on 38 counts (27 for ‘riot’, 2 for arson, 6 for assaulting officer, 1 for disorderly conduct, 1 for resisting arrest, 1 for criminal damage), and 10 acquitted on 15 counts (9 for ‘riot’, 3 for assaulting officer, 1 for unlawful assembly, 1 for inciting riot, 1 for inciting unlawful assembly). Three defendants absconded. Police issues arrest warrants for them. Twenty-two of the 27 convicted were sentenced to prison. Altogether, their prison sentences totaled 71 years, two months and 21 days. Prison sentences ranged in length from 21 days to seven years. Ken L-man received the longest sentence, of seven years, for one count of ‘riot’. Edward Leung received the second-longest sentence of six years for one count of ‘riot’ and one count of assaulting a police officer. Other ‘riot’ sentences ranged from 2 years 4 months to 4 years 9 months, with most ‘riot’ sentences being between three and four years. Never in Hong Kong’s recent history have so many been sentenced to such harsh sentences in relation to a single event. Again, for context, analysis and a full account, please see “Justice it ain’t: The Mong Kok ‘riot’ trials”.

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Author of ‘Umbrella: A Political Tale from Hong Kong’ and ‘As long as there is resistance, there is hope: Essays on the Hong Kong freedom struggle…’

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