Former pro-democracy legislator Leung Yiu-chung has been sentenced to two weeks in prison for “assaulting, obstructing or molesting” a pro-Beijing lawmaker during a debate over Hong Kong’s controversial extradition bill amendment in 2019, local media reported.
Leung appeared in front of Principal Magistrate Peter Law at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on Wednesday afternoon.
The 69-year-old pleaded guilty to assaulting, obstructing or molesting fellow lawmaker Elizabeth Quat at the Legislative Council complex on May 11, 2019.
The prosecution withdrew a second count of the same charge against Leung concerning another pro-Beijing legislator, Holden Chow.
On the day in question, both the pro-Beijing and pro-democracy camp fought for control over the vetting process of the amendment to the controversial extradition bill, which resulted in parallel meetings and physical clashes between the two camps.
Leung’s lawyer said during mitigation that the defendant stood away from the clashes for most of the day.
The magistrate said although Leung “was not in the same gang as others,” what he did “added fuel to the fire” of an already “terrible” situation.
Law then ruled that imprisonment would be an appropriate punishment and sentenced Leung to two weeks in jail.
Leung is currently serving a sentence over an illegal assembly case related to last year’s Tiananmen Crackdown vigil, but was set for release next Monday. His release date will be delayed in light of Wednesday’s judgement.
The axed extradition bill amendment gave rise to months-long protests across the city that began in June 2019. The demonstrations escalated into sometimes violent displays of dissent against police behaviour, amid calls for democracy and anger over Beijing’s encroachment.
6 other co-defendants
Leung had six co-defendants, all of whom were ex-lawmakers from the pro-democracy camp, including Gary Fan, Eddie Chu, Raymond Chan, Lam Cheuk-ting, Kwok Ka-ki, and Au Nok-hin.
The six also face national security charges together with 41 other prominent democrats in connection with an unofficial legislative primary election held in July 2020. Only 13 have been released on bail, with most detained for more than 15 months awaiting trial.
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