Three more people, including Scholarism activist Derek Lam Shun-hin and a 15-year-old boy who was barred from leaving home overnight, were brought to Hong Kong courts on Friday for the second
round of prosecutions over Monday’s riot in Mong Kok.
Lam, 22, and delivery worker Yung Wai-yip, 32, are accused of taking part in a riot in the busy district between February 8 and 9, Kowloon City Court heard yesterday.
READ MORE: Beijing brands instigators of Mong Kok riot as Hong Kong ‘separatists’
The 15-year-old boy, whose identity cannot be revealed due to his age, faces the same charge in a juvenile court in the same building.
They are each charged with one count of rioting, but were not required to make a plea yesterday .
Despite raising no objection to the defendants’ bail, assistant director of public prosecutions Ned Lai Ka-yee asked the court to ban them from parts of Mong Kok, including major thoroughfares Argyle Street and Nathan Road.
“There are reasonable grounds to believe that further crime would be committed,” Lai said in court as he applied for the injunction against Lam.
Acting chief magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen granted the injunction and asked Lam and Yung to pay cash bail of HK$2,000. He adjourned the case to April 7.
The boy was granted cash bail of HK$3,000 in the juvenile court, with the condition that he remains in Hong Kong, abides by a curfew from 8pm to 6am and informs the police if he moves home. He is also barred from entering parts of Mong Kok.
Leaving court, Lam spoke about his experience in custody. “During the past 48 hours [of detention], there were hardships and uncomfortable moments. There were also moments of near mental breakdown,” he said.
“But I know my friends have been supporting me,” he said.
The three appearing in court brought the total number of people facing prosecution over the riot to 41 after one more suspect was charged on Friday.
READ MORE: Hong Kong police top brass meet representatives of frontline officers amid anger over Mong Kok riot decisions
All except one face a riot charge. The other has been charged with one count of unlawful assembly.
Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung said on Friday that prosecuters, who were reviewing evidence provided by police, did not rule out pressing further charges.
When asked if the defendants had been charged with rioting because Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying labelled it a riot, Yuen denied the prosecutions were politically motivated.
Commenting on the case outside court, prosecutor Lai said they had yet to decide whether to make the riot charges summary or indictable.
A riot charge can be pressed in both ways. While the former carries a lesser maximum jail term of five years and a fine of HK$5,000, the latter involves a maximum 10 years in prison.
Because of that, the courts where pleas would be taken also remained undecided, he said.
Lam’s court appearance drew a large crowd of supporters, including Scholarism convenor Joshua Wong Chi-fung and spokesman Oscar Lai Man-lok, who filled the court’s public gallery.
A group of protesters from Beijing-loyalist group Defend Hong Kong Campaign, led by Fu Chun-chung, also gathered outside the court to protest against the student activists.
Before the hearing, a confrontation unfolded between a man and one of the Defend Hong Kong Campaign’s members who accused the man of being a member of Scholarism. The man was later taken away by police.
Scholarism spokesman Lai said the man was not a member of the student group.
He also said there were no signs other Scholarism members would be arrested over Monday’s riot.