Activists' contempt of court sentencing adjourned

Local | 7 Dec 2017 5:35 pm

A judge put off sentencing today for young Hong Kong democracy leader Joshua Wong Chi-fung in a contempt case stemming from 2014 protests.

The 21-year-old Wong, who was out on bail while he appeals a prison sentence in a separate case, was among 16 activists set to learn their punishments following their convictions for criminal contempt of court, AP reported.

Mr Justice Andrew Chan Hing-wai adjourned the case to an unspecified date to await further submissions from defense lawyers.

Hong Kong law sets no maximum penalty for contempt, with sentences usually ranging by case law and legal precedents.

Wong and some others had pleaded guilty months earlier for failing to comply with a court order to clear out of a protest camp on a main road during the 79-day "Umbrella Movement” protests against Beijing’s restrictions on elections for Hong Kong’s top leader.

The activists were expecting to receive their punishments for contempt of court relating to the Occupy protests in 2014, RTHK reports. 

But defense lawyers asked for time to make further written submissions on sentencing principles for young offenders, as well as the sentencing options for contempt of court. 

The judge accepted their request and said he will schedule another hearing.

At the hearing on October 13, Judge Chan noted there had been multiple warnings from court bailiffs for the activists to leave the protest site and their refusal amounted to "serious interference with the administration of justice.''

Four others involved in the case were earlier fined HK$10,000 and given one-month suspended jail terms, RTHK said. Photo: RTHK

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