The District Court convicted an activist on Monday of rioting and arson during protests that erupted in Mong Kok last February.

Technician Yeung Ka-lun, 31, was accused of participating in a riot and setting fire to a taxi in Mong Kok on February 9 last year. He was arrested 17 days after the protests.

A taxi was vandalised during the unrest. File photo: Kris Cheng, HKFP.

Judge Anthony Kwok Kai-on will hand down a sentence at a later date.

During the trial, the prosecutor submitted as evidence photographs and news footage taken on the night in question, which appeared to show Yeung had started a fire next to the taxi. Yeung’s former employer also testified that Yeung was the person shown in the pictures.

Yeung’s legal representative countered that the prosecutor’s assertion was speculative and that the person photographed was not Yeung. The defendant did not summon witnesses during the trial.

File photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

The prosecutor said the costs for repairing the damaged vehicle totalled around HK$6,400.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison under the Public Order Ordinance.

Earlier convictions

Monday’s verdict marked the fourth rioting conviction in relation to the clashes. Three activists were convicted of rioting last month by the District Court and were each handed a three-year jail term. Judge Sham Siu-man said rioting necessitated a deterrent sentence.

Three convicted activists: (L to R) Mak Tsz-hei, Hui Ka-ki and Sit Tat-wing.

They have since appealed against their convictions and sentences.

The violent clashes broke out last year on the night of February 9 – Lunar New Year – over efforts by the authorities to clear street hawkers. Around 90 people have been arrested so far in relation to the incident.

Ellie Ng

Ellie Ng has written for Foreign Policy, the Daily Telegraph, Global Voices Online and others.