A Hong Kong man has appeared in court accused under a colonial-era law of displaying seditious posters which insulted and threatened the judges involved in the city’s first national security trial, and was denied bail.

Property manager Kim Chiang Chung-sang, 41, appeared at West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on Monday after police arrested him last Friday. He stands accused of displaying the posters linked to the trial of activist Tong Ying-kit by High Court justices Esther Toh, Anthea Pang and Wilson Chan.

anthea pang, esther toh, wilson chan national security judges high court
National security judges Anthea Pang (left), Esther Toh (centre), Wilson Chan (right.) Photo: HKFP Compilation.

According to the charge sheet, the posters were displayed at a kindergarten in Sheung Shui’s Tin Ping Estate on July 28 and inside a toilet at the High Court a day later. The content was said to be intended to bring the administration of justice “into hatred or contempt.”

They were intended to “raise discontent or disaffection amongst inhabitants of Hong Kong, to incite persons to violence and/or to counsel disobedience to law or any lawful order,” the charge sheet read.

Tong’s lawyers submitted mitigation on July 29. The next day the three judges sentenced the 24-year-old to nine years behind bars, after convicting him of incitement to secession and terrorist activities.

The former waiter rammed a motorcycle displaying a flag with the slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” into three policemen during a demonstration in Wan Chai on July 1 last year, hours after the Beijing-mandated security law came into force.

The judges ruled that the slogan – improvised by former localist leader Edward Leung and popularised during the 2019 anti-extradition bill protests – was capable of carrying the meaning of wishing to separate Hong Kong from mainland China.

West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

According to media reports, Chief Magistrate Victor So refused bail and adjourned the case to October 11 for mention.

So and the three High Court justices are among a pool of judicial officers handpicked by Chief Executive Carrie Lam to handle national security cases, although Chiang is not charged under that law.

The sweeping security legislation also outlaws subversion and collusion with foreign forces. The four offences are punishable by life imprisonment.

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Kelly Ho has an interest in local politics, education and sports. She formerly worked at South China Morning Post Young Post, where she specialised in reporting on issues related to Hong Kong youth. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong, with a second major in Politics and Public Administration.