More charges set for teen fugitive

Local | Maisy Mok 14 Jan 2021

One of the 12 fugitives intercepted by the coast guard in Guangdong while trying to flee to Taiwan in a speedboat appeared in court yesterday for the first time since he and another teenager were handed over to Hong Kong police.

Hoang Lam-phuc was brought before a Kowloon City court in the wake of completing his quarantine after being returned from Shenzhen last month.

The 17-year-old has been charged with attempted arson with intent and possession of offensive weapon for allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at Mong Kok police station during an anti-government protest in 2019, and could face more charges.

Principal magistrate Ada Yim Shun-yee adjourned the case until February 26 for the prosecution to seek further legal advice on whether to press extra charges. Hoang is remanded in Pik Uk Prison in the meantime. Yim also ordered the confiscation of Hoang's HK$10,000 cash bail.

The court heard that Hoang allegedly attempted to damage Mong Kok police station with fire on October 14, 2019, and was charged with a count of attempted arson with intent and a count of possession of offensive weapons for storing three petrol bombs in his home.

Lam Siu-hung, who was arrested with Hoang, pleaded guilty to attempted arson with intent in October and was sentenced to 40 months in prison.

Separately, mainland police took away several Chinese lawyers who wanted to attend a hearing to revoke the lawyer's license for Lu Siwei, a rights lawyer who was appointed by a family of the 12 detained Hongkongers.

Two of Lu's representatives - Cheng Hai and Xie Yanyi - were not allowed to attend the hearing at the Sichuan provincial department of justice in Chengdu.

Local media also reported that consular representatives from 10 countries, including the United States, Canada, UK, Australia and France, applied to observe the hearing, but their applications were denied.

Cheng wrote in a statement that most of the evidence presented by the authority were posts or reposts on a Twitter account called @lulawyer that were used to accuse Lu of endangering national security.

Lu and his lawyers believe there isn't sufficient evidence to prove that the account belongs to Lu and that the relevant remarks made by the authorities against Lu have neither a factual nor a legal basis, and as such, the case should be dropped.

But Cheng said those who handled the case persist in trying to revoke Lu's license to practice, despite knowing he had said nothing illegal and having insufficient evidence.



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