Nurse in primaries case freed on bail

Top News | Wallis Wang 29 Jul 2021

The former head of a Hospital Authority workers' alliance facing charges related to the pro-democracy primary election case has been released on bail by the High Court after being held in jail custody for almost five months.

Winnie Yu Wai-ming, a 34-year-old nurse, is the founder and former chairwoman of the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance.

She is the 13th of 47 politicians and activists to be bailed in the case. The other 34 have been remanded in custody for nearly five months.

The 47 have been charged with conspiracy to subvert state powers under the national security law for organizing or taking part in the pro-democracy camp's primary elections last year.

Under the national security law, the principal offenders in subversion cases could be sentenced to life imprisonment or a fixed term of no less than 10 years. Those taking part actively could be jailed for three to 10 years, while others could be jailed for no more than three years.

High Court judge Esther Toh Lye-ping yesterday ruled that Yu be granted bail of HK$100,000 cash and another HK$50,000 in sureties.

Yu was banned from leaving Hong Kong and had to surrender all her travel documents, including a BNO passport. She has a curfew from midnight to 6am every day and needs to report to police four times a week.

Toh banned Yu from making statements on any public platforms that may be deemed to violate the security law, organize or take part in any elections and contact foreign officials.

Toh said she believes Yu will not endanger national security while she is out on bail, adding she will hand down a written judgment to explain her decision.

Yu appeared to be calm upon hearing the court's decision and waved to people in the public gallery before leaving the courtroom.

Yu's mother cried after she was granted bail. When others congratulated her, Yu said: "Thank you, I hope [all defendants] can be granted bail."

The 12 other defendants who have been released on bail are Cheng Tat-hung, Clarisse Yeung Suet-ying, Helena Wong Pik-wan, Michael Pang Cheuk-kei, Kalvin Ho Kai-ming, Lawrence Lau Wai-chung, Sze Tak-loy, Hendrick Lui Chi-hang, Mike Lam King-nam, Ricky Or Yiu-lam, Lee Yue-shun and Owen Chow Ka-shing.

All 47 defendants appeared at the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts on July 8 when the prosecution's application for the case to be transferred to the High Court was heard.

But chief magistrate Victor So Wai-tak, who is also a designated national security judge, adjourned the case to September 23, prompting defendants to complain. Democratic Party politician Lam Cheuk-ting said: "You shouldn't have arrested us if you cannot handle the case."

wallis.wang@singtaonewscorp.com



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