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Wednesday, Jun 16, 2021

Thirty-six activists remain in jail custody

Thirty-six activists remain in jail custody

Thirty-six out of 47 defendants in the pro-democracy primary elections case continued to remain in jail custody as the case was adjourned to July 8.
The defendants appeared before chief magistrate Victor So Wai-tak in West Kowloon magistrates’ court today.

The court had earlier granted bail to 11 defendants in March while the other 36 have been remanded for three months already. Eleven of them applied for bail again today while 25 did not make any bail application.

Activist Tiffany Yuen Ka-wai saw her bail application rejected today, while applications from the other 10 defendants will be heard tomorrow and on Wednesday.

The 47 politicians and activists have been charged with conspiracy to subvert state powers under the national security law for organizing or taking part in the pro-democracy camp's primary elections last year.

According to the national security law, the principal offenders of subversion could be sentenced to life imprisonment or fixed-term imprisonment of not less than ten years. Active participants in the offense could be jailed for three to ten years while others could be jailed for not more than three years.

During the hearing today, So rejected Yuen’s bail application because there was not sufficient evidence to believe she would not continue to endanger national security.

The court will hear the bail application of another eight defendants including Andrew Chiu Ka-yin and Gary Fan Kwok-wai tomorrow, and handle Roy Tam Hoi-pong and Raymond Chan Chi-chuen’s application on Wednesday.

The 11 defendants who have already been released on bail in March would continue to be granted bail pending trial.

They are Cheng Tat-hung, 32; Clarisse Yeung Suet-ying, 34; Helena Wong Pik-wan, 62; Michael Pang Cheuk-kei, 26; Kalvin Ho Kai-ming, 32; Lawrence Lau Wai-chung, 53; Sze Tak-loy, 38; Hendrick Lui Chi-hang, 38; Mike Lam King-nam, 32; Ricky Or Yiu-lam, 50 and Lee Yue-shun, 27.

The prosecution applied to have the case transferred to the High Court. The defense did not object to the decision, but they demanded more time for preparation.

Although the prosecution is required to pass legal documents to the defense seven days before the trial, the defense said it might not be enough for them to prepare for the plea because the national security law is new and more than 100 pages of legal documents have yet to be translated.

The defense also said the prosecution should tell them whether the trial would be open to the public, if there will be a jury and if they believe the defendants are principal offenders or active participants of the case.

But So said if the defense needs more time to prepare, they could apply to adjourn the case on or before July 5.
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