Political ties severed, civic stalwarts cry out

Top News | Michael Shum 4 Mar 2021

Four Civic Party members being prosecuted under the national security law said they have quit during the marathon legal battle for their bail applications at the West Kowloon Magistrates' Court.

The four were among 47 politicians and activists charged with subversion after organizing or participating in the pan-democrats' primary elections last July.

Former lawmakers Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu, 39, who stepped down as party leader in November after being ousted from the legislature, vice chairman Jeremy Tam Man-ho, 45, and member Kwok Ka-ki, 59, as well as Eastern District councillor Lee Yue-shun, 27, said they had quit.

Yeung, Tam and Kwok could not hold back tears as they told the court they no longer have any political affiliations in Hong Kong.

Party chairman and senior counsel Alan Leong Kah-kit subsequently told the court that he would no longer represent the four in hearings.

Also yesterday, Lam Cheuk-ting, 43, Clarisse Yeung Suet-ying, 34, and Gwyneth Ho Kwai-lam, 30, told the court they too had terminated the services of their legal representatives.

All seven will continue without a legal representative.

Before addressing the court, Alvin Yeung said: "As a barrister, I would never have imagined that I would have to address the court in the docks."

"On March 2 five years ago, I was sworn in as a legislative councillor, fighting for Hongkongers, but five years later, I am fighting for my own freedom."

This came after all 47 defendants or their lawyers finally finished addressing the court for their bail applications in the legal battle that has lasted for more than 32 hours over three days.

Six defendants have been hospitalized during the hearings. Eastern district councillor Andy Chui Chi-kin, 53, was the only one still in hospital. Chui's lawyer said he is expected to remain in Caritas Medical Centre in Sham Shui Po for two days.

Wan Chai district council chair Yeung, who fainted in court after a 14-hour hearing on Monday was discharged last night.

Chief magistrate Victor So Wai-tak, one of the designated magistrates presiding over national security cases, said he expects to have a decision on the 47's bail applications today when the hearing resumes at 10am.

The case has taken a toll on defendants who have complained they have not changed their clothes or underwear during their custody at Lai Chi Kok reception center. They were only allowed time to shower yesterday morning before the hearing resumed.

Emilia Wong Yue-kiu said boyfriend Ventus Lau Wing-hong, 27, was finally able to take a shower, albeit a cold one, and his mental condition had improved after having sufficient sleep.

The Judiciary said since the 47 are all prosecuted under the same case, it has to be presided over by the same magistrate in accordance with the procedures. The courts have been working hard to finish all hearings as soon as possible, it said, but the length of the hearing depends on multiple factors.


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