Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Mar 23, 2023

Court told Hong Kong opposition primary became ‘insane’ bid to oust city leader

Court told Hong Kong opposition primary became ‘insane’ bid to oust city leader

Au Nok-hin says he insisted primary candidates should not be forced to veto budgets because of risk of breaches of national security law.

The nature of a 2020 legislative primary election changed from selection of the best candidates for Hong Kong’s opposition camp after its driving force pushed to incorporate the unofficial event into an “insane” blueprint for “mutual destruction”, a one-time ally turned prosecution witness has told a subversion trial.

Au Nok-hin, an ex-politician, on Wednesday said it was “regrettable” that former law professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting had written a series of articles that favoured blocking government budgets and bills in the Legislative Council as a way to topple the city’s leader.

“I once thought that [whether to veto the budgets] was a choice to be made by individual candidates, but, as he gradually published articles about ‘mutual destruction’ in June , I started to feel that his views had led to changes in the nature of the primary election,” Au told West Kowloon Court.

The former Democratic Party lawmaker said he had insisted that contenders in the unofficial poll in July that year should not be forced to veto budgets regardless of their merits because of the “very high” risk of a breach of the Beijing-imposed national security law that had just come into force.

Benny Tai, alleged in court to have been the driving force behind an ‘insane’ plan to topple the chief executive through an unofficial opposition primary in 2020.

Au was speaking as he was cross-examined by defence lawyers in a 90-day trial involving 16 of the 47 opposition figures who took part in the primary.

The 16 have denied allegations that they were part of a conspiracy to subvert state power.

The 31 others, including Tai, Au and two other coordinators of the poll, have pleaded guilty or indicated they would admit liability.

The 47 were accused of organisation or participation in the primary to ensure they won a majority in the Legislative Council so they could paralyse the government and force Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, then the chief executive, to step down.

Prosecutors earlier told the court the ­conspiracy was part of a “destructive manifesto in 10 steps to ‘mutual destruction’” inspired by Tai, who aimed to undermine the government by manipulation of the electoral system.

Tai had said he believed the primary would enable the opposition to twice veto the budgets, despite a crackdown by authorities, and force the chief executive to resign.

He claimed that Beijing would be forced to declare a state of emergency and persecute opposition leaders, which would trigger a backlash by the public and “bloody” suppression in Hong Kong that would lead to international sanctions against the Chinese Communist government.

Au earlier testified that the manifesto, first proposed in a newspaper article on April 28, 2020, was “too insane”.

He highlighted on Wednesday his unease over the road map with a reference to what Tai said would happen during the last step he envisioned.

Tai said in the April 28 article, published in the now-closed Apple Daily newspaper, that by the time the manifesto came to fruition, Hong Kong would have already “jumped off the cliff together with the Chinese Communist Party”.

“We are living in a Hong Kong governed under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle,” Au said. “For you to publish an article that inflames the country’s feelings, I believe that is too much.”

The court heard that Au withdrew from the primary in July 2020, three days after the poll.

Au appeared on a radio programme the next day and said he drew the line at the manifesto and insisted the primary was not designed to fulfil Tai’s political ambitions.

The trial continues.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Goldman Sachs cuts outlook for European bank debt over Credit Suisse crisis
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
The US government has charged Chinese businessman Guo Wengui with leading a $1 billion fraud scheme that cheated thousands of followers out of their money.
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
The BBC problem about China
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
"Will Fly Wherever International Law Allows": US Warns Russia After Drone Incident
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
Announcing GPT-4
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
China is calling out the US, UK, and Australia on their submarine pact, claiming they are going further down a dangerous road
A brief banking situation report
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
'No relation to the American SVB': India's SVC Bank acts to calm depositors amid brand name confusion.
Good news: The U.S. government is now guaranteeing all deposits, held by, Silicon Valley Bank, and the funds are available as of today
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
In a potential last-ditch effort, HSBC is considering a rescue deal to save Silicon Valley Bank UK from insolvency
Saudi Arabia has announced a major breakthrough in diplomacy with Iran after two years of intense talks
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
A primitive judge in Australia sparked outrage when he told a breastfeeding woman to leave his courtroom for being “a distraction"
Barcelona is feeling the heat as they face corruption charges over payments to former vice-president of Spain's referees' committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
Silicon Valley Bank: Struggles Threaten Tech Startup Ecosystem"
The unelected UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, an immigrant himself, defends new controversial crackdown on illegal migration
Old clip of Bill Gates saying Ukraine is a big, fat, corrupt sinkhole is going viral
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
2 universities in Hong Kong embrace use of ChatGPT, other AI tools
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
Missing Chinese banker was working to set up Singapore family office
Hong Kong ditches Covid mask mandate after 945 days
Xi Jinping and His Wife Meet with Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk
How do stolen goods end up on Amazon, eBay and Facebook Marketplace?
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Hello. Here is our news digest from London.
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
When it comes to Tesla vs Lamborghini, an empty vessel makes more noise
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Former U.S. President Carter will spend his remaining time at home and receive hospice care instead of medication
North Korea test-fires an intercontinental ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan west of Hokkaido