Overview of upcoming trial dates of HK pro-democracy activists
This is an update. For the full overview, please see “Overview of prosecutions and lawsuits brought by the Hong Kong government against pro-democracy leaders.”
Sentencing at the High Court of 16 held liable for contempt of court in relation to the clearance of the Mong Kok occupation on 26 November 2014 during the Umbrella Movement. If they are imprisoned, this case will break the record currently held by the NENT 13 (see below) for the largest number of pro-democracy activists sent to prison at any one time. The 16 include Joshua Wong and Raphael Wong, who are already serving prison sentences of seven and thirteen months respectively (though currently out on bail pending appeal), and Lester Shum, another Umbrella Movement leader who up to now has not been sent to prison. On 28 November, 4 others prosecuted together with the 16 were each given a HK$10,000 fine and one month in prison. The prison term is suspended for twelve months. Along with seven others, including Joshua Wong and Lester Shum, the four had acknowledged liability. The four are Cheung Kai-yin, Ma Po-kwan, Wong Lai-wan and Yeung Ho-wah. Nine others, including Raphael Wong, did not acknowledge liability.
UPDATE: The judge adjourned the sentencing hearing until a later date to be determined. The judge awaits a further submission from defense regarding sentencing principles for young offenders, given that many of the convicted were between the ages of 18 and 21 when the incident took place, and presentation of sentencing options for contempt of court. It’s unclear why these matters were not taken into consideration before the present hearing, and it appears that upcoming appeals of prison sentences at the Court of Final Appeal in the cases of 16 protesters sentenced to prison have cast uncertainty over a raft of other cases involving nonviolent protest and potential prison sentences.
Start of trial of Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching and three of their assistants for unlawful assembly, with an alternative charge of forcible entry, in connection with an incident in the Legislative Council on 2 November 2016. Leung and Yau were Legco members at the time and attempted, with the help of their assistants, to enter a Legco chamber where the rest of Legco was meeting. Security guards, on orders of the Legco president, prevented them from entering. Days later, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee issued an interpretation of the Hong Kong Basic Law which virtually compelled the High Court to disqualify Leung and Yau from Legco, in a case brought by the HK government over their oath-taking. Their seats have remained vacant since and will be filled in a by-election on 11 March. Legco has also demanded of Leung and Yau reimbursement of over $933,000 paid out to them while they were Legco members (on the grounds that, according to the High Court ruling, they never were) and is now suing them to recover the money.
9 January 2018
Four days of pre-trial hearings to be held in the case of the Umbrella Movement 9, all charged with various counts of ‘conspiracy to incite public nuisance’ and ‘inciting public nuisance’ in relation to the start of the Umbrella Movement on 28 September 2014. The case is basically intended to place legal blame on these 9 for starting the Umbrella Movement, an utterly ridiculous notion to anyone who saw how it actually unfolded. The 9 are Chu Yiu-ming, Chan Kin-man, Benny Tai (of OCLP), Lee Wing-tat (of Democratic Party), Shiu Ka-chun (Legco member representing social welfare functional constituency), Tanya Chan (Legco member from Civic Party), Raphael Wong (of LSD, currently on bail from serving 13 months in prison and awaiting sentencing for contempt of court — see above), and Tommy Cheung and Eason Chung (both of HKFS).
16 January 2018
Appeal hearing of Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, and Alex Chow at the Court of Final Appeal in regard to their sentencing to six, eight and seven months in prison respectively. Wong and Chow were convicted of unlawful assembly and Law of inciting unlawful assembly in relation to the occupation of Civic Square on 26 September 2014, which lead to the start of the Umbrella Movement two days later. All three are out on bail pending appeal.
The court has announced that the appeals of the 13 protesters imprisoned for June 2014 protests against the Northeast New Territories development plan will be scheduled after Wong, Law and Chow’s 16 January hearing. Eight of these protesters have been released on bail pending their appeal. Five are still in prison.
29 January 2018
Trial of Dickson Chau Ka-faat (of LSD), Avery Ng (of LSD), Devon Cheng Pui-lun (former Lingnan U Student Union president), Derek Lam (former core member of Demosisto), Ivan Lam (on bail pending appeal from serving 13 months) and 4 others for various offenses (unlawful assembly, inciting disorderly conduct, obstructing police, assaulting police) related to the 6 November 2016 protest against the NPCSC Basic Law interpretation on oath-taking which lead to the disqualification of 6 elected pro-democracy Legco members.
Of the 39 legal cases brought by the HK government against pro-democracy leaders, as of 28 November 2017, 19 cases have concluded, resulting in 12 convictions, 5 prison sentences, 7 acquittals, and 6 disqualifications from Legco. (Note: The discrepancy has to do with difference between number of cases and number of counts per case.) Defendants are appealing in 7 of those cases. 3 cases are on-going. 17 trials have not yet begun.
Other upcoming trials which have not yet been scheduled or for which I don’t have court dates include:
December: Trial of Avery Ng for disclosing the name of a person under investigation by the Independent Commission against Corruption
Leung Kwok-hung / Long Hair, former chair of LSD and Legco member (prior to disqualification) for contempt of Legco, related to a November 2016 incident in which he grabbed files of a government minister off of his desk
Kenneth Leung, Legco member representing Accountancy functional constituency, vice-chair of Professional Commons, is being sued by the former Chief Executive, Leung Chun-ying, for defamation in relation to a claim he made that Leung was being investigated by tax authorities abroad
Baggio Leung for unlawful assembly in relation to attempting to enter a Legco conference room in Nov ’16 while still a Legco member
Yau Wai-ching for unlawful assembly in relation to attempting to enter a Legco conference room in Nov ’16 while still a Legco member
Long Hair and Lau Siu-lai are appealing their High Court disqualification from Legco.