Hong Kong anti-WTO activists hearing deferred
By Teddy Ng (China Daily HK Edition)
Updated: 2005-12-31 15:44
The hearing of 14 anti-WTO protesters, arrested during the December 17
violence in Wan Chai, has been adjourned to January 11 because more time is
needed for further investigation and completion of the identification process.
The Kwun Tong Magistracy Friday released the protesters, charged with
unlawful assembly, on a bail of HK$2,500 each. But Taiwanese defendant Lee
Chien-cheng had to deposit HK$100,000 to ensure that he returned to Hong Kong
for the trial. Lee told the court that he had to return to Taiwan to prepare for
Deputy Director of Public Prosecution John Reading, SC, told Principal
Magistrate Garry Tallentire that a lot of people and defendants were involved in
the case, and the prosecution needed more time for further investigation and to
complete the identification process.
Defence lawyer Martin Lee, SC, said the prosecution and defendants disagreed
on facts and that they needed more time for clarification.
Families, friends and supporters of the defendants demonstrated inside and
outside the court Friday, demanding that they be released.
Some of them even shouted "Release Now" both in English and Cantonese in the
courtroom immediately after the end of the proceedings. They also posted
signatures collected in support of the defendants on the court building.
About 1,000 protesters were rounded up that fateful night, but most were
About 50 protesters gathered in Central on Thursday, shouting slogans and
singing mass songs in support of the defendants.
Some of them displayed placards, demanding the release of their husbands or
fathers or sons before the New Year. They have submitted a letter to Chief
Executive Donald Tsang, pleading for their release.