Ousted localist lawmaker Baggio Leung has been jailed for four weeks after a Hong Kong court reject his appeal application.
The 34-year-old, his Youngspiration colleague Yau Wai-ching and their three assistants were found guilty of participating in an unlawful assembly when they attempted to barge into the Legislative Council (LegCo) chamber on November 2, 2016.
LegCo President Andrew Leung barred the pair from attending all meetings after the government filed a judicial review to challenge the validity of the lawmakers’ oaths.
Leung lodged an appeal against the conviction and the sentence. The Court of Appeal rejected his application on Wednesday.
Justice Wilson Chan, who presided over the application, said the conviction was satisfactory and the sentence not too “manifestly excessive.”
Leung has not yet decided on whether to file an appeal with the Court of Final Appeal and he has not applied for bail; hence, he will be immediately put behind bars until at least the provisional hearing date on September 11.
Yau and assistants Yeung Lai-hong, Chung Suet-ying and Cheung Tsz-lung abandoned their appeals in 2018.
Leung and Yau were elected as legislators in 2016. LegCo Secretary-General Kenneth Chen rejected their oaths after they pronounced China as “Chee-na” – a derogatory term used during Japanese occupation and displayed a “Hong Kong is not China” flag. Leung later defended his oath-taking by saying that he has an “Ap Lei Chau” accent.
The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress adopted an interpretation of Article 104 of the Basic Law following the row. It ruled that public officers, including elected lawmakers, must swear allegiance to the Hong Kong SAR, with oath-taking being a legal prerequisite. It also ruled that mispronouncing the oath would be regarded as declining to take the oath, hence disqualify the individual from assuming office.
The pair later challenged the interpretation of the Article as unconstitutional but was it was dismissed by High Court Chief Judge Andrew Cheung as “arrogant and ignorant.“
In May, the LegCo Commission ordered the pair to pay HK$1.86 million – a sum which consisted of a month’s salary and remuneration.
Outside the court ahead of the ruling, Leung told reporters he thought the definition of an unlawful assembly was too broad.