Occupy trio faced wrong charge, High Court told in appeal

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

It is not appropriate for the Occupy trio to be charged with conspiracy to commit public nuisance as their original Occupy Movement plan never materialized, the defense told High Court in an appeal. 

The court heard the appeal from nine Occupy defendants including the movement's three co-founders over their conviction and sentence this morning. 

Eric Cheung Tat-ming, representing Benny Tai Yiu-ting, said the Umbrella Movement turned out much different from the three-day Occupy Movement envisioned by the trio. 

Cheung suggested that the prosecutor should have laid charges against Tai, Chan Kin-man and Chu Yiu-ming according to two plans for the movement, the original one and the revised one. 

The original plan of Occupy movement never materialized. So it is inappropriate to charge the three of conspiracy to commit public nuisance, Cheung said. 

He added that the prosecution can accuse the three of committing public nuisance or incitement to commit public nuisance in accordance to their involvement in the revised plan. 

The original plan by the three figures was supposed to last at most five days. However as the police came into action, the civil disobedience movement attracted more citizens and students to join protests, he said. 

In April 2019, Tai, Chan and Chu were convicted of conspiracy to commit public nuisance. The first two of them were also convicted of incitement to commit public nuisance. 

All three were sentenced to 16 months of imprisonment, while Chu’s sentence was suspended for 2 years.