Disqualified pro-independence lawmakers Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching were arrested at their homes on Wednesday in connection with their attempt to barge into a meeting room at the Legislative Council last November.
The two members of the localist group Youngspiration have been charged with unlawful assembly and attempted forcible entry, and will appear before the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts on Friday, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Three former assistants aged 24 to 30 were also arrested and charged.
All of them have been released on a bail of HK$3,000 each.
Leung said the charges were unreasonable, explaining that they barged into the Legco meeting, which resulted in a scuffle with security guards, precisely to protest against an order banning them from attending the meeting.
Leung and Yau lost their Legco seats after the court ruled that their oath of office was invalid because they deliberately distorted it during the swearing-in ceremony last year.
Yau also said the charges against them were absolutely ridiculous and made no sense.
She explained that when the incident took place, no court ruling had been made on their status as legislators, and as such there was no legal order banning them from entering the Legco premises.
Leung said it was unlikely they would plead guilty during the court hearing, but he admitted that the legal struggle to regain his Legco seat has been financially challenging for him.
He slammed the government for using taxpayers’ money to suppress people with opposing views, adding that they are left with “no choice but to resist”.
The Court of Final Appeal will announce its ruling on the duo’s appeal against their disqualification in August.
Youngspiration released a statement on Wednesday saying they would “never surrender” and would continue to fight for what is right.
According to some reports, Youngspiration still has funds amounting to HK$1 million from previous crowdfunding exercises.
Legislator Claudia Mo expressed shock over the arrest of Leung and Yau, noting that both were legislators-elect at the time of the incident, and as such, the charges against them were absurd.
Pro-establishment lawmaker Starry Lee Wai-king said she fully supports the police in their actions against Leung and Yau, noting that all Legco members should abide by the law regardless of their political stand.
Lee said Leung and Yau had not been sworn in as legislators, and therefore, Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen had the right to ban them from attending the meeting.
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