Pro-secession HK riot leader pleads guilty to charges regarding unauthorized assembly
By Wang Qi Source:Global Times Published: 2020/7/7 0:42:14
A former leader of a dissolved Hong Kong pro-secession political group pleaded guilty to two charges in court on Monday, while other key figures like Joshua Wong and Ivan Lam denied charges of inciting others to knowingly participate in unauthorized assembly.
Agnes Ting Chow, along with Wong and Lam, who were together charged with involvement in the siege of Hong Kong police headquarters on June 21 last year, appeared at Eastern Magistrates' Courts on Monday.
Despite Wong and Lam's denial, the prosecution revealed that there would be 21 witnesses and a video tape of 2 hours and 22 minutes that could prove their crime, Hong Kong local news outlets reported.
In court, Chow also pleaded guilty to another crime of knowingly participating in unauthorized assembly, while Wong pleaded not guilty. Wong was charged with three crimes and Lam with one, said Hong Kong media reports.
The magistrate adjourned the case until August 5 this year and will refer it to West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts for the presiding judge to deal with Chow's formal conviction and sentence.
Chow said outside the court that she had no record before and the case was relatively minor, so the sentence was not expected to be heavy. Wong and Lam were given a pre-trial review and were allowed to remain on bail under the previous conditions, hk01.com reported.
As three of the main secessionist leaders when Hong Kong's unrest started in 2019, Chow, Wong and Lam announced they were withdrawing from the secessionist group Demosisto on Tuesday on Twitter, the day the national security law for the Hong Kong Administrative Region (HKSAR) was passed.
Some media reports said that leaders of Demosisto, including Wong and Chow, split the money in the group's account.
Fan Peng, a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong & Macao Studies, told the Global Times on Monday that although the national security law for HKSAR does not apply retroactively, Zhou's guilty plea shows that the deterrent effect of the law has already been demonstrated. "The introduction of the law is like a sword hanging over their heads, affecting their choice."
Secessionists and activists like Wong have undermined Hong Kong's society and the rule of law.
The fact that Wong has pleaded not guilty does not mean he has not broken the law. He will certainly consider the national security law in the future, and the law will not let him get away with it if he keeps challenging the law, Fan said.
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