A woman who took photos in a courtroom has been sentenced to seven days in prison for contempt of court.

35-year-old Tang Lin-ling was charged with criminal contempt for taking three photos inside the courtroom during a hearing on the clearance of the 2014 Occupy Mong Kok protest site.

Mr Justice Andrew Chan on Monday found her guilty of criminal contempt of court, and ruled that she must pay HK$197,260 in legal fees.

Tang Lin-ling
Tang Lin-ling. File photo: Citizen News.

The photos, taken on the morning of May 23, showed the faces of the defendants, barristers, and clerk in court. Tang admitted that she took the photos and uploaded them to Chinese social media app WeChat, but denied the charge.

According to Ming Pao, Tang said during mitigation on Monday that she thought Chan’s ruling was objective and fair, but added that Hong Kong’s laws were different from those in the mainland. She also said she found “illegal evidence” in the evidence provided by police.

She said that she did not have ill intentions and did not think her actions constituted contempt of court as she did not disrupt or offend the court.

high court political prisoner occupy activist protest rally democracy
Photo: In-Media.

The case is the third reported incident of photos being taken inside the courtroom during hearings for protest-related trials in recent months.

On May 18, the High Court sought protection for jurors in the Mong Kok unrest trial involving localist Edward Leung after the judiciary received a photo of four jurors in an email.

Kris Cheng

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.