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Hong Kong court convicts four for rioting after 2019 legislature storming

REUTERS

HONG KONG — A Hong Kong court on Thursday found four people guilty of rioting after the legislature of the financial centrewas stormed during pro-democracy protests in 2019, joining eight others who had pleaded guilty to charges over the incident.

Hundreds of protesters stormed Hong Kong’s Legislative Council building on July 1, 2019, after a protest march against a proposed extradition bill that would have allowed authorities to send individuals to mainland China for trial.

District Court Judge Li Chi-ho found four people including Ho Chun-yin, actor Gregory Wong, Ng Chi-yung and Lam Kam-kwan guilty of rioting.

Lam was also convicted of criminal damage, while reporters Wong Ka-ho and Ma Kai-chung were acquitted of rioting but found guilty of “entering or staying in the precincts of the chamber”.

During the trial, Gregory Wong told the court he entered the legislative council solely to deliver two chargers to reporters who were covering the break-in by protesters.

According to video evidence played by the prosecution, Wong left the chamber immediately after delivering the chargers to a reporter in a yellow vest.

Another defendant, Lam Kam-kwan, told the court he was detained in China in August 2019 following the storming of Legco during which he was forced to write a repentance letter.

Three Hong Kong police officers met him in Shenzhen and said he had to cooperate or else he would not be able to return to Hong Kong. Police officers denied his claims during a cross-examination by the defense.

Eight people who earlier plead guilty to rioting included the former president of the University of Hong Kong’s student union, Althea Suen, and pro-democracy activists Ventus Lau and Owen Chow.

Hong Kong’s district court sets a maximum of seven years in prison for rioting. – Reuters

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