HKFP Occupy banner one year on

The defence lawyer for two men who had been fined HK$3,000 each for throwing eggs at student activist Joshua Wong said in court on Friday that millions of others wanted to do the same. The claim was made during the court’s review of the men’s sentencing.

The counsel for the defence said that, although the defendants admitted to the crime, they were legally but not morally wrong, Apple Daily reported. He also said that the defendants did not hold a personal grudge against Wong, but the pro-democracy Occupy protests affected many last year, and there were perhaps millions of others would have wanted to do the same as the two defendants did.

joshua wong egg

The lawyer also said that he understood the magistrate wanted the sentence to have a deterrent effect in order to warn the public not to carry out their own extrajudicial punishment, especially given the fact that Wong is a public figure. However, he argued that the defendants did not come up with the idea of throwing eggs themselves, and said that they were learning from lawmaker ‘Long Hair’ Leung Kwok-hung, who had talked about “throwing an egg at a high wall”.

He also said that League of Social Democrats member Derek Chan Tak-cheung had also once hit Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah with an egg. Therefore, he argued, it would be sufficient to impose a lighter sentence, which could also achieve a deterrent effect.

men who threw egg
The two defendants.

The lawmakers had been quoting Japanese author Haruki Murakami, who once said: “Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg,” meaning that the wall represents the system, while the egg represents the people who stand against it.

Li Wong, 27 and Cheung Ka-shing, 33, who work as a dim sum chef and transportation worker respectively, were charged with common assault after throwing eggs at Wong outside the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Court last November. The two defendants were said to have committed the crime because their income had been affected by the Occupy protests last year.

They were found guilty and fined $3,000 in August, a sentence that was then criticised by Wong. The court then reviewed the case, with magistrate Eric Cheung Kwan-ming admitting in October that the sentence did not consider the aggravating factor of premeditation, and said the two defendants had hid outside the law courts buildings, ready to hit Wong with eggs.

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.