Activist Alvin Cheng Kam-mun of the localist party Civic Passion pleaded not guilty on Thursday to one count of theft at the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts.

Cheng, 28, was accused of stealing nine books from the Kowloon Public Library on March 29 last year.

Alvin Cheng Kam-mun
Alvin Cheng Kam-mun. File Photo: Stand News.

On April 2 last year, Cheng uploaded a video on social media calling on the public to “resist” library books printed in simplified Chinese – a writing system used in mainland China.

The video appeared to show a person throwing books written in simplified Chinese into the bins of a library and hiding them inside the building, such as in cabinets or behind lockers.

Cheng was arrested four days after he posted the video.

There are nine prosecution witnesses, according to RTHK. The prosecution will also submit as evidence a 75-second video posted by Cheng on social media, and 1 hour and 35 minutes of closed-circuit television footage from the library.

A pre-trial review is scheduled for May 12.

kowloon city magistrates' court
Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts. Photo: Google Maps.

Cheng is currently serving jail time for a separate offence. He was transferred to the magistrates’ courts by a prison car on Thursday.

He was handed a three-month jail term last month after pleading guilty to ignoring a court order to vacate a protest campsite in Mong Kok during the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy movement.

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Ellie Ng

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