High Court to hear 11 pan-dem bail challenge next week
Eleven pro-democracy figures granted bail in Hong Kong’s largest crackdown under the national security law to date will stay behind bars for as long as next week, after a judge said she needed more to consider a bail challenge by prosecutors.
The defendants are among a group of 47 pan-democrats charged with subversion for their roles in the camp’s unofficial primary last July.
They were former lawmakers Helena Wong Pik-wan, Jeremy Tam Man-ho, Kwok Ka-ki, district councilors Kalvin Ho Kai-ming, Cheng Tat-hung, Michael Pang Cheuk-kei, Sze Tak-loy, Sam Cheung Ho-sum, Ng Kin-wai, 25, Ricky Or Yiu-lam and Lee Yue-shun.
Court of First Instance Judge Esther Toh Lye-ping said she needed both prosecutors and defense teams to gather all related materials before making “an informed decision,” and that any bail applications should not be rushed.
Her remarks came on Saturday morning as she heard the cases of Cheng, Pang and Ho. They were among the 15 suspects granted bail by a magistrate on Thursday, but the Department of Justice have immediately appealed against the ruling.
Four others, Clarisse Yeung Suet-ying, Lawrence Lau Wai-chung, activists Hendrick Lui Chi-hang, Mike Lam King-nam were released on bail last night. The decision came after prosecutors made a surprise U-turn by dropping their challenge for the four.
Hectar Pun Hei SC, Cheng’s barrister, attempted to apply for an interim bail for his client, saying he hoped Toh would grant a few days of freedom to Cheng, who had already gone through marathon proceedings that lasted for four days. But the request was rejected by Toh.
Lawyer of Pang did not make his statement, while Ho, hospitalized, was not able to attend today’s hearings. Both Pang and Ho would remain in detention.
She set aside March 11 and 13 to hear the arguments from both sides.