All eyes are on whether a nine-member jury can reach a verdict over former localist leader Edward Leung Tin-kei's rioting case today after they deliberated for a fourth day yesterday.
High Court Judge Albert Wong Sung-hau planned to tell the jury this morning if there is no chance to reach an effective verdict on certain charges faced by defendants, the court will accept the effective verdicts they reached. Then the jury will be discharged from duty to deliberate on remaining counts.
Leung, 27, former spokesman of Hong Kong Indigenous, and co-defendants Lee Nok-man, 21, Lam Ngo-hin, 23, and Yung Wai-yip, 34, have pleaded not guilty to one joint count of rioting on Portland Street during the Mong Kok unrest on Lunar New Year's night three years ago.
Yung, who is also known as "Captain America," denied three further counts of rioting, one count of inciting others to take part in an unlawful assembly, one of taking part in an unlawful assembly, and one of assaulting a police officer.
The jury, comprised of four men and five women, continued their deliberations yesterday.
Wong made his comment as he told the jury to retire for the evening before 8pm.
Earlier in the morning, he reminded the jurors again that they needed to remember all the instructions, discuss with each other, and consider the evidence, to reach a verdict which is consistent with facts.
Wong also told the jurors again that they did not need to have any pressure on time. If they could not reach an effective ruling on any of the charges after thorough discussion, they needed to inform the court.
But at 11.15am, Wong said there was some important matter that he had to discuss with both the prosecution and the defense counsels. But the court forbade the media to report the content of their discussion.