HONG KONG 9 leaders of Hong Kong’s 2014 democracy protests appeared in court docket on Thursday after their surprise summons, charged with inciting the street profession that paralyzed pieces of the metropolis for months in what some hope to be a very long lawful battle.
The 9 were charged on Monday, just a day after a new Beijing-backed chief, Carrie Lam, was picked out as the city’s up coming chief, noticed by lots of as a stressing sign after she had vowed to heal divisions in the Chinese-ruled metropolis and unite modern society.
The protest leaders, including the “Occupy Central trio” of Benny Tai, Chan Kin-person and Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, entered the magistrates’ court docket smiling and shaking hands with a couple of dozen supporters, some holding yellow umbrellas, the symbol of the 2014 civil disobedience motion.
The “Occupy Central trio” every facial area expenses including conspiracy to dedicate community nuisance and inciting many others to dedicate community nuisance.
6 many others, including two legislators and two previous scholar protest leaders, were also charged with crimes linked to community nuisance.
The 9 instructed the court docket they comprehended the expenses, but the listening to was mostly procedural and failed to involve them to enter pleas.
The scenario was adjourned till May 25.
Veteran pro-democracy politician and barrister Martin Lee, symbolizing 5 of the defendants, asked for the scenario be transferred to the large court docket instead of the district court docket, so that the 9 could be experimented with by a jury.
“Following all, the allegations are of a community nature,” Lee mentioned.
The choose suggests it was up to the prosecution to make a decision which court docket attempts the scenario.
Outdoors the court docket, about a dozen pro-China protesters jeered at the protest leaders, cursing them in vibrant Cantonese to get stabbed, though slapping pics of them with flip-flops.
The expenses carry a utmost sentence of 7 several years, Tai mentioned, incorporating the activists may well plead guilty, in the spirit of civil disobedience.
The previous British colony, governed below a “one nation, two units” formulation, was promised a large degree of autonomy and the suitable to choose its main executive when it was handed back to Communist Chinese rule in 1997.
Twenty several years later on, only 1,200 folks on an “election committee” stacked with Beijing loyalists voted Lam into energy.
(Reporting by Venus Wu Enhancing by James Pomfret and Nick Macfie)