Three defendants accused of conspiring to arson in relation to an explosion in the demonstration area outside the Legislative Council building have had charges against them withdrawn at the Eastern Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday morning.

The three defendants are 18-year-old student Chan Cho-chak, 19-year-old student Chau Lok-hin, and 24-year-old illustrator Lam Kwok-lun. The cases against them were withdrawn due to a lack of evidence, Ming Pao reported.

The bin that exploded. Photo: Gov HK, Facebook.

The charges for the remaining two defendants, Ip Cheuk-yin and Yeung Yat-long, remain. Yeung is the president of the Hong Kong Shue Yan University Student Union. The prosecution said that Ip kept a lookout while Yeung put inflammable material into the bin.

File photo: HKFP.

The arson attack and explosion occurred at around 8:30pm on December 9 after a planned rally against a controversial new copyright bill was cancelled by organisers. No one was injured.

The magistrate adjourned the case to August 9 at the District Court. The defendants were released on bail and are awaiting trial.

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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.