Unrest fights flare anew in courts

Local | Maisy Mok 30 Jun 2020

A 17-year-old student was jailed for two years and eight months after being caught with three Molotov cocktails during a protest in Tuen Mun late last year.

Chan Kwok-ching, who completed his Diploma of Secondary Education exams this month, was jailed by district court judge Amanda Woodcock yesterday.

The court was told the three Molotov cocktails were found strapped around Chan's waist when police searched him at Siu Lun Court on November 10.

Chan, who has been admitted to a US university, earlier pleaded guilty to one count of possessing anything with intent to destroy or damage property.

Woodcock said Chan's young age should not be used to justify a reduced sentence.

"Aside from the three petrol bombs, there were ingredients that can make up to seven to 15 petrol bombs," she said.

"The defendant was wearing a black top, black pants, and a mask, this shows he deliberately wanted to escape," she said.

Chan's lawyer said the teenager sincerely regrets his actions. He also said Chan promised not to commit crimes again and hoped to continue his studies.

Woodcock proposed a sentence of four years before reducing it by a third to take into account Chan's guilty plea.

Separately, the Civil Human Rights Front said in a judicial review hearing yesterday that police had ignored the safety of peaceful demonstrators protesting the fugitive bill in its crowd dispersal on June 12.

The front filed the application in September, asking the high court to declare the police approach to the dispersal of crowds outside CITIC Tower in Admiralty "unconstitutional" and "unlawful."

Front convener Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit and protester Yeung Kwok-ming were at yesterday's hearing.

Sham and Yeung's counsel Gladys Li said police did not provide sufficient time and clear instructions for "peaceful protesters" to leave the approved demonstration.

Li told judge Anderson Chow Ka-ming that police fired tear gas without warning and did not order the organizer - the front - to end the assembly.

She added that the protest had no connection to the clash at the Legislative Council that day.

"CITIC Tower is 100 meters away from the Legislative Council, police did not limit the number of people participating at the protest," Li said.

"The order given by the police was not able to spread to protesters in Admiralty and Victoria Park in an instant, so if demonstrators did not follow police dispersal instructions, they should not be regarded as illegally violating police instructions."

The hearing continues today.

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