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Global Times

HK secessionist Tony Chung denied bail, charged with secession

Global Times

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/29 17:29:06

The former leader of Hong Kong pro-secession group Studentlocalism Tony Chung Hon-lam, who has been charged with secession and money laundering, was denied bail by a Hong Kong court on Thursday, local media reported.

Chung was detained on Tuesday by the police national security department while attempting to seek asylum at the US consulate in Hong Kong and Macao. He was held by police until he was arraigned on Thursday morning.

Chung, 19, is charged with secession, and also faces counts of money laundering and conspiracy to publish seditious content.

The charge of secession states that between July 1 and October 27, Chung was involved in actively organizing, planning, committing or participating in the commission of acts with others in Hong Kong aimed at secession and undermining national unity.

The charge of conspiracy to publish seditious content refers to Chung's involvement in conspiring with others to publish seditious publications in Hong Kong between November, 2019 and June 2020.

The two counts of money laundering refer to sums worth HK$133,417.69 ($17,212) in an account held by Chung in Hong Kong under the name of Tony Chung at PayPal Hong Kong Limited, and sums worth HK$564,318.19 ($72,800) in an account held by Chung in the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) under the name of Tony Chung.

It has been learned that the prosecutors alleged Studentslocalism had launched an online crowdfunding campaign, claiming that it would only accept donations from advocates of "Hong Kong independence." About HK$560,000 ($72,243) of the proceeds raised had been deposited into Chung's personal account, the prosecutors found out.

Chung was denied bail on Thursday, with his case adjourned to January 7, 2021 for the relevant law enforcement agencies to make a further decision.

Chung was the founder of pro-secession group Studentslocalism, which announced it had shut down its headquarters in Hong Kong on June 30, the same day the national security law for Hong Kong took effect, and said all the group's affairs would be handled by overseas members instead.

On the same day, they set up a division of the group in the US, according to the group's Twitter account.

Earlier in July, Chung was among the first secessionists to be arrested under the national security law for Hong Kong on suspicion of inciting secession via social media posts.

He was later released on bail with terms of scheduled checks at police stations, one of which would have taken place on Tuesday if he hadn't been arrested on the same day.

If the crime is deemed as serious, Chung could face a 10-year sentence in prison, and police can take DNA samples from arrested individuals, Senior Superintendent Li Kwai-wah said on Chung's arrest earlier in July.

Two other members of Chung's now-disbanded group, Yanni Ho and William Chan, were also arrested on Tuesday, and were later released on police bail on Wednesday, the group claimed.

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