Former Scholarism convenor Joshua Wong Chi-fung was convicted for the first time of unlawful assembly for storming government headquarters two days before the pro-democracy Occupy movement in 2014, but he did not regret the action.
Meanwhile, his co-defendants – Demosisto chairman Nathan Law Kwun-chung, 23, and former Federation of Students secretary general Alex Chow Yong-kang, 25 – were respectively convicted of an incitement charge and unlawful assembly.
The Eastern Court case marked the first criminal convictions of the three prominent student leaders, who played a dominant role in the 79-day protests that saw the occupation of major thoroughfares in Admiralty, Central, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok as activists demanded genuine universal suffrage.
Wong, currently Demosisto’s secretary general, told reporters ahead of his hearing on Thursday: “We do not regret what we have done.”
Law added: “Because of our actions, the Umbrella Movement started.”
The Open University of Hong Kong, where Wong is a student told Young Post, “The Student Disciplinary Committee will meet to discuss the case in due course.”
Lingnan University, where Law studies said yesterday they respect the court’s decision.“The University will consider whether appropriate follow up action is necessary after the court announces the sentencing, including whether corresponding disciplinary procedure should be initiated,” they stated.
The case before magistrate June Cheung Tin-ngan centred on a key protest that triggered the Occupy protests, with activists storming into the east forecourt of government headquarters on the evening of September 26.
The court heard that Wong encouraged others to enter the forecourt before he climbed over the forecourt’s newly erected three-metre security fence, without applying for police permission or obtaining the Administrative Wing’s consent to do so.
Law then took over the microphone in calling for more people to surround police officers and block the complex, with Chow among those who stormed in.
But Wong was not convicted of the incitement charge.
The case will return to court for sentencing on August 15, pending the defendants’ probation order and community service order reports.
All three have been freed on bail.