Seven protesters plan to plead guilty to criminal contempt of court in relation to the clearance of the pro-democracy Occupy protest site in Mong Kok.

In total, 15 remain accused of failing to comply with a court injunction to clear the Umbrella Movement site in November 2014. During a pre-trial review at the High Court on Monday, the justice department said that seven of the group will plead guilty.

They include Chan Wai-fung, Chu Sui-ying, Wong Ka-yee, Kong Kam-to, Chan Ao-tien, Chan Wing-wah and Leung Hon-lam.

Standoff between police and protesters during the clearance of the Occupy protest site in Mong Kok. Photo: HKFP/Tom Grundy.

The case was thrown out by a judge in 2015 after the Department of Justice failed to follow procedures. But the Department of Justice applied again to pursue the case.

The other eight accused include: Siew Yun-long, Man For-on, Lai Yu-sing, Law Wai-yan, Jeffrey Chan, Yung Yiu-sing, Chan Pak-tao and Lou Tit-man.

Document mix-up

In court on Monday, the prosecution revealed that it had mistakenly placed the statement of facts for Jeffrey Chan into documents relating to another defendant. It applied for the court’s approval to modify the statement of facts in accordance with procedures, reported Apple Daily.

Police during the clearance of the Occupy protest site in Mong Kok. Photo: HKFP/Tom Grundy.

Barrister Earl Deng, representing Jeffrey Chan, opposed the application, saying that the error was discovered in December 2016, but the prosecution only applied for court approval on Monday.

Mr Justice Andrew Chan asked what was unfair. Deng replied that it was not the first mistake made by the Department of Justice in this case, and it has been almost four years since the case occurred. It thus caused Jeffrey Chan some psychological pressure.

The next pre-trial review will be held on April 9.

The case originally involved 17 people. Activist Alvin Cheng of localist party Civic Passion and another protester – Au Yuk-Kwan – previously pleaded guilty to criminal contempt.

File photo: In-Media.

In March last year, Chan handed Cheng a three-month jail term, as he was deemed to have shown no remorse. Au was given a jail sentence of one month suspended for a year, and ordered to pay HK$10,000.

In a separate but related case heard by Chan, pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong and Raphael Wong were sentenced to three months and four-and-a-half months behind bars respectively for playing a significant role in obstructing the clearance operation.

Another activist – Lester Shum – was among 18 others in the case to each receive month-long jail sentences – suspended for a year – in addition to a HK$10,000 fine.

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.