The case against a Portuguese man charged under Hong Kong’s sedition law has been adjourned until March, when the court will handle its transfer to a higher court. He was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to commit seditious acts through online posts and advocating for Hong Kong independence.

west kowloon court
West Kowloon Law Courts Building. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

Joseph John appeared in front of Principal Magistrate Peter Law at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday.

The 40-year-old stands accused of taking part in a conspiracy involving “publishing, making available and/or continuing to make available statements and photos on Facebook, Internet website[s], Twitter, Instagram and Telegram” with seditious intention.

During Thursday’s hearing, Law granted the prosecution six weeks to prepare to transfer the case to the District Court.

John’s next appearance in court is scheduled for March 9.

facebook app icon phone
Social media app icons on an iPhone. Photo: Brett Jordan, via Unsplash.

The defendant was arrested on November 1 last year and has been denied bail since his first appearance in court.

The police said John had published “seditious” social media posts on multiple occasions, started a crowdfunding campaign for “military expenses,” and launched petitions on foreign government websites to call for their support of Hong Kong’s independence by military deployment.

Local media reported that John was a member of the London-based Hong Kong Independence Party.

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Peter Lee is a reporter for HKFP. He was previously a freelance journalist at Initium, covering political and court news. He holds a Global Communication bachelor degree from CUHK.