Three more activists jailed for their participation in 2014 northeast New Territories land protests have been granted bail ahead of their appeals at the top court.
Court of Final Appeal Justice Robert Ribeiro said on Wednesday that there were exceptional circumstances to warrant granting bail to Chu Wai-chung, Yim Man-wa and Leung Wing-lai. The remaining ten protesters were granted bail earlier, with all 13 activists having filed notices of appeal with the city’s highest court.
The trio were required to pay a cash bail of HK$10,000 each. They are not to leave Hong Kong, must surrender their passports, and also have to report to police stations regularly.
The activists were jailed last August over their involvement in the protests outside the Legislative Council, after the Department of Justice successfully sought harsher sentences. The clashes were triggered by then-Finance Committee chair Ng Leung-sing’s attempts to end a filibuster by the pro-democracy camp over a controversial northeast New Territories development plan.
The 13 were convicted of unlawful assembly and were originally sentenced to community service orders.
In a separate case, the top court on Tuesday allowed the appeals of Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow, who were jailed last year by the Court of Appeal for their involvement in the Civic Square clashes that triggered the 2014 Occupy protests.
In allowing the appeal, the Court of Final Appeal’s judges said that it was unable to agree with the Court of Appeal’s view that the magistrate imposing the original sentence erred in principle. However, the judgment said the Court of Appeal was entitled to give sentence guidelines for future cases involving violence at large-scale unlawful assemblies.
Justice Ribeiro said on Wednesday that the Court of Final Appeal’s decision in the Civic Square case may not necessarily affect the ruling in the present case, and that the two cases should not be compared with each other as the facts are different.
Ribeiro also said that if they are not granted leave by the top court, they would have to return to prison.