Youngspiration duo Sixtus “Baggio” Leung and Yau Wai-ching said they will appeal a decision by the High Court disqualifying them as lawmakers for their failure to take a valid oath of office, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Meanwhile, the Legislative Council Secretariat announced in its gazette the vacancies caused by the disqualifications and said by-election arrangements will follow later, public broadcaster RTHK reported.
Leung was quoted by Ming Pao Daily as saying that an appeal would cost more than HK$5 million in litigation fees, adding that he and Yau plan to raise the amount from the public.
In his decision on Tuesday, Justice Thomas Au said the manner in which the two legislators-elect took their oaths on Oct. 12 showed “objectively and clearly that they did not truthfully and faithfully intend” to commit themselves to upholding the Basic Law and swearing allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, thereby violating what is specified in Article 104 of the Basic Law.
As such, their Legco seats should be vacated, he said.
Justice Au also said his decision has nothing to do with a move by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee to interpret the Basic Law.
The NPCSC said in its intepretation of the law on Nov. 7 that those advocating independence from China has no place in the Hong Kong government, including Legco.
In his decision, Justice Au also said Legco President Andrew Leung has no power to allow the two localists to take their oaths again.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying welcomed the court ruling, adding that the government will decide what to do next after studying the verdict.
CY Leung and Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen filed the case against the Youngspiration duo on Oct. 18, asking the High Court to bar the two from Legco.
The two, the first lawmakers-elect to be disqualified by a court in Hong Kong history, said they will lodge an appeal of the High Court’s decision and apply for an injunction to forbid the government from rendering their Legco seats vacant and holding by-elections to fill them.
Baggio Leung said he has never regretted what he did, referring to his oath-taking on Oct. 12, in which he and Yau wore a cape emblazoned with the words “Hong Kong is not China” and mispronounced the word “China” in a manner deemed derogatory to the Chinese people.
He acknowledged that he could end up being broke from the legal battle, but said he and Yau will do whatever they can to protect the system in Hong Kong.
Saying their fight has just began, Baggio Leung said he has no plans to barge into the Legco meeting on Wednesday, as he and Yau had done recently, but they will bring their case to the international community.
Yau, who finds the court ruling “not surprising”, said she has sent a letter to the British government, narrating how Beijing has interfered with Hong Kong’s judicial independence and has broken its promise to maintain a high degree of autonomy in the city.
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