An arrest warrant has been issued for another defendant charged with rioting over their alleged participation in the 2016 Mong Kok unrest.
A warrant for Li Tung-sing was issued after he failed to attend a closed-door pre-trial review on Saturday. He is also facing charges relating to assaulting police officers.
It came after the disappearance of Ray Wong, convener of localist group Hong Kong Indigenous. Wong is also facing charges over the incident and is being sought by police.
The prosecution said outside court on Saturday that Li and Wong had failed to attend and thus the court issued the warrants for them. Li’s lawyer did not answer reporters’ questions.
The unrest broke out over efforts by the authorities to clear street hawkers. Around 90 people have been arrested so far in relation to the incident.
Six have since been sentenced to jail for rioting – receiving up to four years and nine months behind bars. One was handed a training centre order. Rioting carries a maximum penalty of ten years’ imprisonment under the Public Order Ordinance.
Last week, an arrest warrant was issued for Wong. He had been on bail after previously receiving approval from a court to attend an event in Germany last month. However, he failed to report to Tai Po police station on November 20 or surrender his travel documents on November 22, as required by his bail conditions.
Wong was charged with rioting, inciting rioting, and inciting unlawful assembly.
In September, Wong and Li appeared at a protest outside the British Parliament for the third anniversary of the pro-democracy Occupy protests.
They were also interviewed by German media Die Tagespost and appeared in an article published in October.
The trial for eight defendants, including Li and Wong, was set to begin on January 18 next year. It was expected to last for 80 days. The judge ordered the remaining six defendants to surrender their travel documents by next Monday as part of their bail conditions.
Activist Edward Leung, also of Hong Kong Indigenous, did not respond to questions from reporters about Ray Wong.
Leung was charged with inciting rioting, assaulting police officers and two counts of rioting. Outside court, Leung said he had planned to leave Hong Kong during Christmas.
Asked by reporters if the new bail conditions will affect him, Leung said: “Would it affect you if you did not have your passport? Of course it would.”
Hong Kong independence leaders Edward Leung, Ray Wong, Li Tung Sing, Baggio Leung pass South China Sea on big screen pic.twitter.com/G2I2Kf6De9
— Alex Hofford (@alexhofford) September 3, 2016
Li ran with localist activist Baggio Leung on the same ticket in the Legislative Council election last year, after Edward Leung was barred from running. Baggio Leung was disqualified by the courts after he won a seat, over the controversial way in which he took his oaths of office.
Previously, Taiwanese authorities confirmed that local activist Lee Sin-yi, 18 – who failed to appear in court to face rioting charges – had entered Taiwan in January. She has apparently remained on the island ever since. No asylum application has been filed.
A Taiwan lawmaker has said human rights organisations on the island are helping her.