A 24-year-old man has pleaded guilty to arson over throwing flammable objects at Government House, the official residence of the chief executive, in 2021, on the anniversary of Hong Kong’s Handover from Britain to China.

Flammable objects were found at the Government House on July 1, 2021. File photo: HK Police compiled by HKFP.

Wong Chun-yin entered his plea in front of Judge Frankie Yiu at District Court on Friday morning.

Wong was charged with destroying or damaging Hong Kong government property by fire at the chief executive’s residence on July 1, 2021.

According to local media, the case details disclosed by the prosecution said staff at Government House noticed a fire in vegetation about 50 metres from the building at around 1:30 a.m. that day.

The police later found six gas tanks, two empty white oil cans and two metal cans with turpentine at the scene, all of which had scorch marks and residue of flammable liquid.

Wong’s fingerprints were found on one of the turpentine cans and his DNA was detected in a pair of gloves found on a nearby mesh fence.

Security camera footage showed that Wong had inspected the surroundings of Government House with another woman four days ahead.

government house
Hong Kong Government House. File photo: Wikicommons.

Security footage also showed Wong throwing flammable objects at the premise’s vegetation at the time of the offence, and climbing the fence to ignite devices that had not caught fire.

The defendant was arrested the following day, when he told police that he had been to Government House on the Handover anniversary. He has since been kept in remand.

Police also found a notebook at Wong’s home containing the names and personal data of 25 officials, lawmakers, pro-establishment camp supporters and their family members, including then-chief executive Carrie Lam.

The notebook also contained the number of police posts at Government House, the location of its security cameras and information about its surroundings. The list of materials for combustion devices and the chemical formula for the nerve agent Sarin were also written in the notebook.

The court will handle the defendant’s mitigation and sentencing on March 31.

A 19-year-old female waiter was initially charged under the same offence with Wong, but the prosecution withdrew the charge against her when the case was brought to the District Court on July 19.

Support HKFP  |  Code of Ethics  |  Error/typo?  |  Contact Us  |  Newsletter  | Transparency & Annual Report

support hkfp
YouTube video

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.

contact hkfp
Headshot peter lee hkfp

Peter Lee

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.