Authorities have slapped additional charges on two key members of the localist group Hong Kong Indigenous over the activists’ alleged role in the Mong Kok clashes in February.
Prosecutors told the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Court Tuesday that they have decided to charge Ray Wong Toi-yeung, convener of Hong Kong Indigenous, with participation in rioting, incitement to riot and incitement to unlawful assembly, Apple Daily reported.
It marks a stronger offensive against Wong as the 22-year-old activist was previously charged with only one count of rioting.
Wong was arrested Feb. 21 for playing a leading role during the clashes between protesters and the police on the night of Feb. 8.
The government has described the incident as a riot.
Apart from Wong, prosecutors have also brought fresh charges against Edward Leung Tin-kei, the 24-year-old spokesman of Hong Kong Indigenous.
Leung, who was also charged earlier with one count of rioting, will now face two counts of rioting plus one count of incitement to riot.
Charges against the duo, along with those of 10 other defendants, will be combined into a single case, which will be heard at an Eastern Magistrates’ Court on August 5 before it is transferred to the High Court.
Leung, who lost a Legislative Council by-election for the New Territories East geographical constituency in February, was granted bail by the court.
Speaking to reporters outside the court, the activist said Tuesday that he is not worried at all about the potential impact the case might have on his group’s plan for the upcoming Legislative Council elections.
Hong Kong Indigenous will go ahead with its plans for the September polls, he said.
Leung also stressed that the case will not deter him from participating in scheduled activities, including the one set to be held in front of Beijing’s Liaison Office this Friday, or continuing to be a leader of his group.
A total of 42 people charged with rioting in Mong Kok were present at the court Tuesday after the prosecution earlier dropped charges against 11 people, standnews.com reported.
All of them were granted bail Tuesday on the condition that they must stay away from the area where the clashes took place.
Of the defendants, five were acquitted while three will go to trial in a District Court.
Apart from these people, 21 other protestors were told to be present at a court hearing scheduled for August 9.
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