Quinn Moon, one of the 12 Hong Kong fugitives who attempted to flee to Taiwan two years ago, is facing two additional charges on top of those already levelled against her.

Wearing a dark-coloured long-sleeve top and a white collared shirt, the 35-year-old appeared at Fanling Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday morning.

Fanling Law Courts Building. Photo: Hillary Leung/HKFP.

The prosecution added two charges – making explosives and possession of explosives – to Moon’s case. The alleged offences took place on January 14, 2020 in Mong Kok building, the court heard.

The two new charges carry a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment.

Moon had earlier been charged with possessing a dangerous drug – 2.98 grams of cannabis – in the same location on that date, as well as one charge of “doing an act or a series of acts tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice” linked to the Taiwan escape attempt.

A banner at the Chinese University of Hong Kong calling for support to save the 12 Hongkongers detained in China. Photo: Studio Incendo.

The perverting the course of justice case was transferred to District Court, a higher court where the longest prison term a judge can impose is seven years, and adjourned to November 1, when Moon is expected to enter her plea.

Meanwhile, the case relating to the other three charges will next be heard at Fanling Magistrates’ Court on November 14.

Failed escape attempt

Moon was among a group of 12 Hongkongers caught by the mainland Chinese coastguard in August 2020, when they tried to leave the city on a speedboat heading to Taiwan. Most on board were on bail pending trial over offences linked to the protests in 2019, including rioting and arson.

The incident gained international attention, with the then-US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and former UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab expressing concerns over the fate of the fugitives under a legal system often criticised as opaque.

A protest in 2019. File photo: May James.

Two of the twelve were minors, who returned to Hong Kong in December 2020. Of the remaining 10, eight were sentenced to seven months in prison in mainland China. They were handed over to Hong Kong authorities last March after completing their jail terms.

Moon returned to Hong Kong in August after serving a two-year jail term in mainland China. She had been found guilty of organising an illegal border crossing.

Since coming back to the city, Moon has remained in custody. She has not applied for bail.

Of the 12 Hongkongers, only one – Tang Kai-yin – is still serving time in mainland China. He was sentenced to three years in prison, the longest among the group, for organising the escape attempt.

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Hillary Leung

Hillary has an interest in social issues and politics. Previously, she reported on Asia broadly - including on Hong Kong's 2019 protests - for TIME Magazine and covered local news at Coconuts Hong Kong.