Localist activist Edward Leung has pleaded guilty to assaulting police officers during the Mong Kok clashes in February 2016, but has denied three rioting charges.

Another defendant, Wong Ka-kui, admitted on Monday to one count of rioting, but denied assaulting police officers. The duo were taken into custody immediately after the High Court revoked their bail.

Edward Leung. File photo: In-Media.

Four other defendants pleaded not guilty to their charges. The six defendants are facing charges such as rioting, participating in an unlawful assembly and assaulting police officers.

The violent clashes broke out over efforts by the authorities to clear street hawkers during 2016 Lunar New Year. Around 90 people have been arrested so far in relation to the incident.

Arrest warrant 

Two more defendants – Ray Wong and Li Tung-sing – were originally set to be tried together with the group, but their case has been separated from the trial after they failed to attend a pre-trial review hearing last month.

The two are being sought by police, with an arrest warrant issued.

The court heard that Leung allegedly incited a riot with Ray Wong on Portland Street in Mong Kok between February 8 and 9 in 2016. In addition, Leung was accused of two counts of rioting.

On Monday, Leung admitted to the allegation that he assaulted a police officer on Argyle Street during the night in question.

The trial began last Thursday. The other four defendants are Lee Nok-man, Lo Kin-man, Lam Ngo-hin and Lam Lun-hing.

Mong Kok clashes in 2016. Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

Of the 90 arrested, six people 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 sentence of ten years’ imprisonment under the Public Order Ordinance, while the maximum penalty of assaulting police officers is two years in prison under the Offences against the Person Ordinance.

Ellie Ng

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