Win some, lose some as Wong returns to prison after sentence cut

Top News | Cindy Wan 17 May 2019

Former student leader Joshua Wong Chi-fung has been thrown back to jail after the Court of Appeal reduced his three-month sentence for contempt of court related to the Occupy protest in 2014.

The court granted his appeal and reduced his sentence by two months.

He was escorted back to prison to serve the remainder of his term.

The young activist pleaded guilty to one count of contempt of court for obstructing the clearance of the site and was sentenced to three months in jail by the Court of First Instance on January 17 last year.

He appealed against the jail term six days later and has since been out on bail.

Justice Jeremy Poon Shiu-chor said the judge of the Court of First Instance did not consider the fact that Wong was only 18 when he obstructed the clearance site.

Justice Poon added that age is an important factor that needs to be taken into consideration before handing down a sentence.

However, Justice Poon rebutted Wong's argument that he was given a harsher sentence because he was an unwavering activist, saying there is no evidence to support this claim.

As contempt of court is an offense that threatens the whole legal system and the rule of law, the court needs to hand down sentences that can deter the offenders and other people from committing the same crimes, Justice Poon said.

He also said the Court of Appeal agrees with the earlier judgment that Wong actively engaged in obstructing the clearance site and sentencing him to jail was an appropriate punishment. Considering his young age and that he apologized to the court, Justice Poon reduced Wong's jail term.

Wong spoke to reporters and his supporters outside the court before the sentencing. "Comparing it to years of imprisonment of the other convicted leaders of the Occupy movement, the few months of imprisonment for me is not even worth mentioning," he said.

He called on people to be aware of the proposed changes on the fugitive laws, saying he and other activists could be extradited to the mainland if it is passed.

He also said he will face his prison term in a calm manner as it is the third time he will be behind bars.

cindymt.wan@singtaonewscorp.com

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