Guilty plea may be in the works for Studentlocalism convener
Student activist Tony Chung Hon-lam yesterday indicated that he may plead guilty to secession and one count of money laundering, the district court heard yesterday.
The 19-year-old Chung, former convener of the now-defunct pro-independence group Studentlocalism, has reached a bargain plea with the prosecutor, district court judge Stanley Chan Kwong-chi was told.
Acting assistant director of public prosecutions Ivan Cheung Cheuk-kan told Chan that Chung may plead guilty to a count of secession and another count of money laundering.
Chung faces four charges - secession, conspiracy to publish seditious publications and two counts of money laundering.
Defense counsel Edwin Choy Wai-bond told Chan yesterday that he needed time to explain to Chung the 60 pages of case details he had just received.
Chan then adjourned the case to this morning and Chung remained in jail custody.
For Chung's secession charge, he was accused of organizing, planning, or participating with others in acts to separate Hong Kong from China or altering the city's legal status by unlawful means between July 1 and October 27 last year.
Under Hong Kong's national security law, the maximum penalty for secession is life imprisonment, but jail terms are capped at seven years if the case is heard at the district court.
Aside from the secession count, Chung is set to plead guilty to dealing in property that represents proceeds of an indictable offense between January 19 in 2018 and October 27 last year.
The amount involves around HK$133,000 in a Hong Kong Paypal account.
The other money laundering charge, involving around HK$583,000 in an HSBC account between January 2 in 2018 and October 27 last year, is expected to be left on the court file if Chung's guilty plea is entered.
The same goes for Chung's charge for conspiracy to publish seditious publications with others between April 29 and October 27 last year.