Hong Kong’s Official Receiver has yet to decide whether it will represent the now-defunct organiser of the city’s annual Tiananmen vigils in a national security law case, a situation the judge described as “unprecedented.”

The Official Receiver, represented by senior counsel William Wong, said that it needed more time to decide whether to represent the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China in the group’s national security case.

candle tiananmen vigil june 4 victoria park 2020
Photo: Sam Lee/United Social Press.

Acting Chief Magistrate Peter Law adjourned the case to February 24, when the Official Receiver’s representative would tell the court its decision. To date, the Alliance has not had any representatives in court since it was struck off the Companies’ Registry last year.

“I know that at this point the problem we face is a very complicated one… it’s unprecedented,” said the magistrate.

The alliance, which was disbanded in September last year, was accused of incitement to subversion along with its former chairperson Lee Cheuk-yan and former vice-chairpersons Albert Ho and Chow Hang-tung.

West Kowloon Magistrates Courts
West Kowloon Magistrates Courts. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

The national security law also criminalised secession, collusion with foreign forces and terrorist acts, which were broadly defined to include disruption to transport and other infrastructure.

The other three defendants also appeared at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday, but did not make any submissions after being barred from doing so by Law during a court hearing last month.

Lee, Ho, and Chow will appear in court again on February 14, as the court will handle matters regarding transferring the case to the Court of First Instance.

The Tiananmen crackdown occurred on June 4, 1989, ending months of student-led demonstrations in China. It is estimated that hundreds, perhaps thousands, died when the People’s Liberation Army cracked down on protesters in Beijing.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.