HK protests: minor among 18 people charged with rioting and possession of offensive weapons

04-Sep-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Eighteen Hongkongers, including one underage boy, were charged with rioting and possession of offensive weapons over the anti-government protests last Saturday.

Of them, 14 appeared in an open court on Monday as three were still in Princess Margaret Hospital. The minor’s case was heard behind closed doors in the juvenile court at Kowloon City and he was granted bail.

These defendants were among those arrested on Hong Kong Island on Saturday after a Christian rally in Wan Chai morphed into a procession to the nearby police headquarters and the government House in Central, while another group marched from Causeway Bay to Admiralty.

Police also arrested 63 people that evening, including 54 men and nine women, aged 13 to 36, at Prince Edward and Mong Kok MTR stations, which were vandalised by protesters.

Police have confirmed the arrest of a 13-year-old boy at Prince Edward MTR station on Saturday for possessing offensive weapons. (SCMP)

Police have confirmed the arrest of a 13-year-old boy at Prince Edward MTR station on Saturday for possessing offensive weapons. (SCMP)

The anti-government protests have gripped the city for 13 consecutive weekends since an estimated 1 million people took to the streets to oppose the now-shelved extradition bill that would have allowed transfer of fugitives to places including mainland China, for trial.

John Tse Chun-chung, chief superintendent of Police Public Relations branch, on Monday confirmed the arrest of a 13-year-old boy at Prince Edward MTR station on Saturday for possessing offensive weapons.

Clerk Chung Yat-ki, 33, faced the same charge at Kowloon City Court, as prosecutors accused him of carrying one catapult and 48 pieces of screw caps without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.

He was granted bail for HK$5,000 (US$637) with the condition that he remain in Hong Kong, obey a curfew and return to court on November 22.

Separately, the cases of 12 men and four women, aged between 18 and 42, were brought to West Kowloon Court on Monday.

Their first court appearance drew hundreds of supporters, some wearing masks.

Many arrived in advance of the hearing, which was supposed to start at 2.30pm, only to find that 10 of the accused were still at Yuen Long police station.

The crowd of supporters later grew so big that the judiciary had to allow sitting on the lobby floor, switch courtrooms and arrange for a live telecast for the hearing, which finally began at 5pm.

Five of the accused were students, while others were from the social work, business, computer programming, and transport and renovation sectors.

Among them was businessperson King Kwan-hing, 33, whom police had mistakenly registered as a national of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, after accusing him of rioting with six co-defendants on Paterson Street in Causeway Bay.

His defence counsel Jason Law clarified: “He was born and raised in Hong Kong.”

Social worker Chen Hung-sau, 42, was accused of taking part in a riot with seven co-defendants at Southorn Playground in Wan Chai on August 31.

Her co-defendant, cook Jason Gung Tsz-shun, 22, complained through his counsel Randy Shek that he was denied access to legal advice until after investigators interviewed him.

None of them were required to take a plea, as prosecutors needed more time to investigate.

Assistant director of public prosecutions Anthony Chau Tin-hang did not object to their bail, except for the case of student Ip Kwan-shing, 18, who was the only defendant accused of rioting outside Hysan Place on Hennessy Road in Causeway Bay.

But Magistrate Edward Wong Ching-yu sided with the defence in releasing all of them on HK$5,000 (US$638) bail on the condition that the defendants remain in Hong Kong, reside in their reported addresses and report to police once a week.

This case was adjourned until October 21.

Rioting is punishable by 10 years’ imprisonment.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/hong-kong-protests-minor-among-150400469.html

 


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