Benny Tai says prepared to face court rulingLocal | 24 Apr 2019 10:06 am
Nine pro-democracy figures found guilty over the 2014 Occupy protests will be sentenced today, with all facing the prospect of a lengthy prison term, RTHK reports.
The verdicts earlier this month drew criticism from democracy advocates and human rights groups, who described them as a blow to Hong Kong’s political freedom.
Members of the public and the media had been queuing up for seats at the court in West Kowloon since early morning.
Before entering the court, a co-founder of the Occupy movement and University of Hong Kong law professor, Benny Tai, said he would accept whatever sentence was handed down.
"I'm still very peaceful, calm and hopeful. Whatever will be the decision of the court, I will just face that peacefully," he said.
Tai, retired sociology professor Chan Kin-man and Reverend Chu Yiu-ming were all found guilty earlier this month of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance.
Tai and Chan had appealed to the court not to pass a custodial sentence on their 75-year-old colleague Chu as he is ailing.
Along with the punishments given to the trio, the sentences handed down to Civic Party legislator Tanya Chan and social welfare lawmaker Shiu Ka-chun will also be closely watched.
Rival groups of protesters had earlier gathered outside the court building, with pro-democracy supporters displaying the yellow umbrella symbol of the Occupy Movement and anti-Occupy supporters waving national flags.