Leung awaits fate as jury deliberates

Top News | Sophie Hui 17 May 2018

A nine-member jury will continue deliberation this morning in localist Edward Leung Tin-kei's rioting trial.

High Court judge Anthea Pang Po-kam finished guiding the four male and five female jurors yesterday morning, after which they retired to consider the verdict on Leung and four others.

After they failed to reach a verdict, the judge asked them to retire and continue today.

They must either reach unanimity or a majority of 8:1 or 7:2 for an effective ruling.

Pang recapped that Leung told the court he had a feeling that police wanted to clear the scene by using force in Mong Kok on Lunar New Year's night in 2016.

Leung said he held an "election parade" of not more than 30 people to protect the public from police. He told members of pro-independence group Hong Kong Indigenous to wear blue garments. The judge reminded jurors that they had to consider if the evidence and footage of the scene matched Leung's explanation, or possibly fit in with what Leung said, or if it was like what the prosecutor claimed and the "election parade" was a smokescreen.

Pang also said the prosecutor has agreed that Leung had the right to hold an "election parade" of fewer than 30 people.

Pang reminded jurors the prosecution bears the burden of proving the offense, and jurors have to mull over each charge. They have to confirm all ingredients of the charges have been established if they are bringing in a verdict of guilty.

The judge told jurors they have to use their experience and wisdom, as well as listen to others' opinions and discuss with each other to reach the verdict.

Pang said although Leung admitted the charge of assaulting police, jurors cannot assume he intended to commit violent crimes. They also cannot jump to a conclusion that Leung had committed the charges he is facing now.

Leung, 26, has pleaded not guilty to one count of inciting others to riot and two more of rioting, but admitted one count of assaulting police.

Four co-defendants - Lee Nok-man, 21, Lo Kin-man, 31, Lam Ngo-hin, 23, and Lam Lun-hing, 26 - all pleaded not guilty to charges of rioting. Lam Ngo-hin also pleaded not guilty to one count of taking part in an unlawful assembly.

The trial began in February. Leung has been remanded into custody since that month.


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