The prosecution has applied to include additional charges against activists Avery Ng and Derek Lam relating to a 2016 protest outside China’s office in Hong Kong.

Nine activists were charged with offences including inciting others to cause public disorder, over a demonstration that November against an impending Basic Law interpretation from Beijing.

At a pre-trial review on Tuesday, the prosecution applied to add three more charges. Two of which were for Ng – chair of the League of Social Democrats – and one was for Lam.

Photo: League of Social Democrats.

In addition to the incitement of public disorder charges, the prosecution asked to add two alternative charges of incitement of unlawful assembly for Ng and one for Lam.

The prosecution had applied to change the description of charges against Ng, which were scheduled to be heard on Tuesday. However, it was retracted so that the new alternative charges could be applied.

Ng’s lawyer opposed the additional charges as it was an “abuse of procedures” to continuously modify them, he said. Ng said the move caused the accused to be uncertain of what he was being charged with, and led the defence to lose trust in the prosecution.

Ng claimed on social media that the government was not truthful in its goal of mending rifts in society: “A world class Department of Justice – even though it is so busy dealing with illegal structures, it still makes effort to deal additional charges to me – it is determined to convict me,” he said.

Derek Lam. File photo: In-Media.

The defence also said Lam’s lawyers were handling another case – the nine charged for the pro-democracy protests – and that they have yet to find time to discuss the new charge with Lam.

Lam had previously decided to plead guilty to his former charge of inciting others to cause public disorder.

The hearing will continue on Wednesday.

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Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.