Bail for 52 as judge seeks to split riot case

Local | Cissy So 5 Jun 2020

Fifty-two people were granted bail after they appeared in the district court yesterday to face rioting charges from September.

The hearing was adjourned to August 12 as the judge recommended the prosecution split the group into two or three due to the large number of defendants.

Of the 52 defendants, the youngest was 16 years old and the oldest 39.

Twenty-five of them are students while the group also included a chef, an engineer, a technician and a musician.

"The trial will be complicated hearing all 52 people at once," Judge Justin Ko King-sau said. "The facilities of the court are also unavailable since there are practical difficulties." Each hearing would involve about 20 people to minimize the prosecution pressure.

Ko called on the prosecution to consider recommendations and report the decision at the next hearing.

The 52 defendants were charged with taking part in a riot with other unknown people on Queensway on September 29.

In addition, three of the defendants, Hon Wai-kit, 25, Martin Li Cheng Pak-yin, 18, and Lau Chun-him, 24, were charged with assaulting three police officers at the junction of Queensway and Rodney Street.

Another, 29-year-old Li Tsz-yin, was charged with assaulting a fourth police officer outside Pacific Place.

Lai Hiu-tung, 28, Chan Wo-yui, 20, and Chan Yan-fu, 27, were charged with possessing offensive weapon, as in a device that emits a laser beam.

Keung Kai-wang, 22, was charged with possessing two laser devices.

Man Ka-kin, 21, and Fan Yu, 29, were also charged with rioting in another case.

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