Former pro-democracy lawmaker Au Nok-hin has been handed a bind-over order after being charged with four counts of “assaulting, obstructing, or molesting a member” of Hong Kong’s legislature.
Au, along with eight other democrats, appeared at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on Monday where six different cases linked to scuffles in Legislative Council (LegCo) meetings between 2018 and 2021 were heard.
The former lawmaker, who is currently in custody over a national security law case, was charged over a LegCo meeting on May 11, 2019, when the city’s pro-democracy and pro-establishment camp were split over who had the authority to host the bills committee for the controversial extradition bill.
Au was accused of obstructing three pro-establishment lawmakers: Ben Chan, Holden Chow, and Elizabeth Quat. Principle Magistrate Peter Law handed the ex-legislator a HK$3,000 bind-over order, requesting him to maintain good behaviour for two years.
On the day in question, fights broke out in the LegCo Chamber after pro-democracy lawmakers occupied the room, with pro-Beijing lawmakers attempting to enter the Chamber and host the meeting.
After Au was handed the order, the democrat told people sitting in the dock to “take care” as he was taken away by Correction Services Department officers.
Charges against 3 democrats withdrawn
Three other democrats who appeared in court on Monday – Gary Fan, Kwok Ka-ki, and Wu Chi-wai – saw the charges against them withdrawn by the prosecution.
Fan and Kwok were charged in the same case as Au, and Wu was charged over the House Committee meeting on May 8, 2020.
Sentencing and trial dates
Four other democrats, including Helena Wong, Lam Cheuk-ting, Andrew Wan, and Eddie Chu said in court that they planned to plead guilty to some of the charges against them. The group will enter their pleas and receive sentencing on December 13.
Raymond Chan pleaded not guilty in all three cases against him on Monday. The trials for all three will begin next year on January 10, March 20, and May 8 respectively.
All of the democrats who appeared in court on Monday have been charged under the Beijing-imposed national security law after taking part in an unofficial primary election for the postponed LegCo election. Among them, Wong and Chan were the only two to have been granted bail.
Support HKFP | Code of Ethics | Error/typo? | Contact Us | Newsletter | Transparency & Annual Report
Support press freedom & help us surpass 1,000 monthly Patrons: 100% independent, governed by an ethics code & not-for-profit, Hong Kong Free Press is #PressingOn with impartial, award-winning, frontline coverage.