Localist figure Edward Leung is facing an additional charge of police assault over the clashes in Mong Kok last February, having previously been charged with two counts of rioting and one count of inciting a riot over the night of unrest.

“During these times of retribution, those on the road of resistance will face many difficulties,” Leung told reporters, following a closed-door chambers hearing at the High Court on Monday.

Edward Leung Tin-kei
Edward Leung Tin-kei. File Photo: Cloud.

“I cannot change history; the only thing that can be done is to look ahead,” Leung said, according to Apple Daily.

The Mong Kok protests broke out during Lunar New Year last February over efforts by the authorities to clear street hawkers. On Monday afternoon, two convicted of rioting were given three-year jail terms, while a third received a training centre order.

Aside from Leung, defendants Yung Wai-yip, Lam Lun-hing and Yuen Chi-kui are also facing additional charges of conspiracy to riot and arson respectively following the pre-trial review on Monday.

Ray Wong speaking at the Mong Kok protest.
Ray Wong speaking at the Mong Kok protest. Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

The ten defendants at the trial – among them Hong Kong Indigenous spokesperson Ray Wong – have been charged with rioting, inciting a riot, inciting an unlawful assembly, and other offences.

A second pre-trial hearing will take place on October 14, with the trial set to commence on January 15, 2018 at the High Court. It is expected to last 80 days.

Rioting carries a maximum penalty of ten years’ imprisonment under the Public Order Ordinance. Unlike the District Court, where the maximum sentence a judge can hand down is capped at seven years, there is no general limit as to the length of imprisonment in cases taking place in the Court of First Instance. A High Court judge can therefore impose the highest penalty set out in the legislation.

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.