Hong Kong National Party convener Andy Chan said on Friday night that he submitted a response to the Security Bureau to contest the government’s potential ban on his party. In a message to reporters at 9:07pm, Chan said HKNP lodged a reply at 8:45pm – after the 5pm deadline had passed.
The HKNP is facing a possible ban after the police deemed it a threat to national security. Chan was given until September 14 to make his case to the government, a deadline that had already been extended three times.
Chan said the delay was related to documents that HKNP requested from the Companies Registry, which he said were important to his case. According to Chan, the Companies Registry had agreed to provide certain documents but said it could not deliver them immediately.
“According to the lawyers’ experience, other departments could normally deliver documents immediately, but [the Companies Registry] said they needed to find another time,” Chan said.
After Chan realised the documents would not arrive by the deadline, he and his lawyers had to amend his submissions resulting in a delay.
Chan noted that, in his submissions, he reserved the right to add supplementary material within 14 days.
When asked about his submissions, Chan refused to disclose what else it contained, saying that he needed to seek further legal advice. He also did not answer questions over what documents he had requested from the Companies Registry.
A Security Bureau spokesperson told HKFP that it received letters from lawyers representing Chan and HKNP’s spokesperson after 5pm on Friday. It had no further comment.
Earlier, at around noon, Chan said the HKNP had not yet submitted any reply to the government. He added that, if HKNP ended up replying to the government, he would not disclose its full contents.
In July, the police recommended that the Security Bureau prohibit the operation of HKNP under the Societies Ordinance, citing concerns that the party would resort to violence. If HKNP was banned, it would be the first case of its kind since the city’s 1997 Handover to China.
“I resolutely believe that the prohibition of the operation…. of [HKNP] is necessary in the interests of national security, public safety, public order and the protection of the rights and freedom of others,” wrote Rebecca Lam, an assistant police commissioner, at the time.
Chan’s high-profile speech at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club on August 14 drew a strong reaction from the police, who considered the speech to be additional evidence in their case against Chan and his party.