A Kowloon City Magistrates’ Court, accepting a motion from the prosecution, dropped the charge of rioting against four people who were previously accused of participating in the Feb. 8 clashes between police officers and protesters in Mong Kok, Apple Daily reports.
Including the four, aged between 20 and 39, a total of 20 people have been cleared in the case by the court so far.
One of the four accused asked for reimbursement of his litigation cost, but Magistrate Peter Law denied the request following the prosecution’s objection.
Meanwhile, two men, aged 18 and 20, were added to the list of defendants in the case, charged with one count of rioting.
The younger one was granted bail but the other had to serve his sentence for a separate case related to drugs.
The rioting charge against another two were changed to one count of assaulting police officers and one count of injuring others, according to Ming Pao Daily.
The cases involving 26 defendants, who were all present in the courtroom, were merged with several others that will be transferred to the district court for separate hearings in the following months.
More than 100 people, including police officers and protesters, were injured in clashes that broke out on the night of Feb. 8, the first day of the Lunar New Year, after officers from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department tried to evict street hawkers from Portland Street.
The incident was described by the government as rioting soon after it took place.
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