A judge has thrown out a contempt of court case involving 17 activists in last year’s pro-democracy Occupy protests on Tuesday after the Department of Justice failed to follow procedures.

High Court judge Anderson Chow Ka-ming said on Tuesday morning that no extension of time will be granted for the Department of Justice’s failure to submit documents for fixing a hearing date within the deadline of 14 days after permission was given to charge the activists in March.

high court
High Court in HK. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The 17 protesters were arrested on charges of contempt for failing to comply with a court injunction after obstructing bailiffs on Argyle Street in Mong Kok last November during Occupy protests. The Department of Justice failed to meet the deadline for filing the “notice of appointment to hear the originating summons” on April 4, as required under The Rules of the High Court.

The Department of Justice has been ordered to pay the costs of the proceedings. It will have to bring a fresh claim if it wishes to press charges again.

Among the 17 protesters, 26-year-old Alvin Cheng Kam-mun was found guilty last month of obstructing police officers during a protest in Mong Kok in December shortly after the Occupy protests ended.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.