Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Feb 29, 2024

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.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
0:00
0:00
Close
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
×