Government prosecutors were set to file an indictment against student leader Joshua Wong Chi-fung, 17, even after a High Court judge, acting on a habeas corpus petition, ordered his unconditional release on Sunday night.
The Department of Justice said releasing Wong, co-founder of the student group Scholarism, would have a negative influence on its ongoing investigation into Wong and his fellow activists, adding that his release should have been subject to his promise that he would not commit any crime and instigate others to commit crimes, Apple Daily reported on Monday.
Police arrested Wong on Friday night after he called on fellow student protesters to break through barricades and enter Civic Square in front of the government headquarters in Admiralty.
He was detained for 46 hours on charges of illegal gathering, disturbance of public order and forcible entry into government buildings.
Wong’s lawyers then filed a petition for habeas corpus, arguing that Wong’s detention was out of political consideration and there was no reason to keep him as the police had searched his home and finished their inspection.
Justice Patrick Li Hon-leung said Wong had been detained for too long, and it was not reasonable to continue detaining him just to give the justice department more time to prepare an indictment, according to the newspaper. He also said there was not risk for Wong to flee.
Police Senior Inspector Ng Ho-yin said he was yet not aware what charges would be filed against Wong.
Hong Kong Federation of Students secretary-general Alex Chow Yong-kang and deputy secretary-general Lester Shum were also released on Sunday night after having been detained for more than 24 hours. Police have arrested more than 70 student activists in the past few days.
Wong’s girlfriend said police came to search his home for two hours on Saturday before his release. The investigators seized one computer, two SD cards, one USB and one externally connected hardware, she said, adding that his closet was also thoroughly searched, according to the report.
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