Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Sunday, Jun 23, 2024

Hong Kong Catholic leader Joseph Zen allowed to attend ex-pope’s funeral amid probe

Hong Kong Catholic leader Joseph Zen allowed to attend ex-pope’s funeral amid probe

In closed-door hearing, Zen’s lawyers applied to West Kowloon Court to retrieve his Hong Kong passport.

A Hong Kong court has allowed retired Catholic leader Joseph Zen Zu-kiun who is being investigated for alleged collusion with foreign forces under the national security law to attend the funeral of former Pope Benedict in the Vatican, the Post has learned.

In a closed-door hearing on Tuesday, Zen’s lawyers applied to West Kowloon Court for the return of his Hong Kong passport so that he could make it to the 95-year-old former pontiff’s funeral, to be held at 9.30am local time on Thursday.

It was understood that Principal Magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen, one of the few jurists approved by Hong Kong’s leader to oversee national security proceedings, had allowed Zen to travel between Wednesday and Sunday, after the prosecution raised no objection.


Former Pope Benedict died at the age of 95.

The retired bishop and former head of the Hong Kong diocese was also ordered to surrender his passport to police upon his return to the city. He is believed to be the first person arrested on suspicion of a national security offence to be allowed by a court to leave the city while under investigation.

Zen, who turns 91 next week, saw his passport confiscated after he was arrested, along with five other activists behind the now-defunct 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund last year on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces. The fund was set up in June 2019 for those involved in the anti-government protests that year.

The six were fined up to HK$4,000 (US$512) each in November after being convicted of failing to register the fund with the force as required under the Societies Ordinance. After the court’s ruling, their travel documents remained in police custody while the national security investigation continued.

The fund’s five former trustees – Zen, singer Denise Ho Wan-see, former Lingnan University academic Hui Po-keung, and ex-opposition lawmakers Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee and Cyd Ho Sau-lan – have filed an appeal to the High Court against their convictions. No hearing dates have been fixed yet.

The five were first arrested in May last year after Hui, who had been put on a list of people who would be stopped by law enforcers if they attempted to leave the city, tried to catch a flight to Germany.

The sixth defendant, the fund’s former secretary Sze Ching-wee, was arrested in November and has currently not lodged an appeal.

During the West Kowloon Court trial in September, prosecutors sought to prove that

the fund was not eligible for a registration exemption, saying it had a political agenda and affiliations with activist groups both local and abroad.

Retired Catholic leader Joseph Zen was arrested last year on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces.


The court heard the fund had accepted nearly 100,000 donations worth a total of HK$270 million between June 2019 and October 2021, with some of the money used to subsidise organisers of anti-government protests, international lobbyists and foreign organisations hostile to Beijing.

The group had also held press conferences and crowdfunding events, sponsored at least 29 political campaigns and hired more than 20 workers through a consultancy firm, according to prosecutors.

Some of the external entities named by prosecutors include the Taiwan-based Judicial Reform Foundation and New Hong Kong Cultural Club, a pro-independence group founded by Hongkongers in Canada.

In convicting the six in November, Principal Magistrate Ada Yim Shun-yee held that the registration regime under the Societies Ordinance did not impose excessive restrictions on the freedom of assembly and association ­protected by the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution.

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.
×