Crowd fears put paid to Occupy conviction appeal for now

Local | Sophie Hui 20 Feb 2020

Sophie Hui

Nine convicted protest leaders from the Umbrella Movement will have their appeal applications postponed as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The applications were originally set to be heard from next Monday to Wednesday at the Court of Appeal. However, those hearings have been canceled, with the appellants' lawyers required to agree on possible dates in the next six months.

All nine are appealing against conviction.

The group was informed by the court that a hearing had been postponed due to the case involving a number of appellants and legal personnel, and would likely attract a sizeable gathering of citizens and media.

The judiciary previously announced that all court and tribunal hearings scheduled for February 17 to 23 would be adjourned to yet to be determined dates due to public health concerns, with the exception of urgent and essential hearings or matters.

Court or tribunal registries and offices will continue to be closed until Sunday, except in cases that involve the above urgent and essential court hearings or matters.

All nine leaders were convicted in April last year of public nuisance in the 2014 Occupy Central Movement.

The movement's founding trio, Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Chan Kin-man and Chu Yiu-ming, saw Tai and Chan jailed for 16 months while Chu received a two-year suspended sentence.

Tai was allowed bail pending an appeal in August last year, while Chan is expected to be released from prison next month.

Social welfare sector lawmaker Shiu Ka-chun and activist Raphael Wong Ho-ming walked out of prison in October last year after serving their eight-month sentences.

Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan Suk-chong and ex-legislator Lee Wing-tat were both sentenced to eight months in jail each, with each also receiving a suspended sentence of two years.

The court opted to spare former student leader Eason Chung Yiu-wa from jail with a suspended sentence of eight months.

Former student leader Tommy Cheung Sau-yin was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

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