An appeal court has rejected a bid by two Hong Kong pro-independence activists to restore their Legislative Council seats after being disqualified during the oath-taking saga.
Youngspiration former lawmakers-elect Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang, who met the media after the Court of Appeal’s ruling was handed down, said on Monday that might apply for permission to pursue their case at the Court of Final Appeal.
The duo are seeking to challenge previous rulings against them at the city’s top court. If an application for leave to appeal is refused by the Court of Appeal, an application may be made to the Court of Final Appeal for such permission.
“It’s not the end, the war [to reinstate their Legco seat] has just started. Our next move is to take the case to the Court of Final Appeal. We have new grounds and legal justifications. We would employ a Queen’s Counsel and barrister Gladys Li to represent us,” said Baggio Leung.
Baggio Leung admitted that money was an issue for them. “We haven’t prepared for the deposit that we have to pay to the Court of Final Appeal,” he said. The Court of Appeal also ordered Baggio Leung and Yau to pay the chief executive and the secretary for justice – the winning parties – a total of HK$335,702 in legal costs.
The duo were disqualified by the city’s courts after the government filed a legal bid over their anti-Beijing antics during the Legco swearing-in ceremony in October.
Their case prompted Beijing’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee to issue a controversial interpretation of the Basic Law ahead of the court ruling, stating that lawmakers should be sworn in properly, and be given only one chance to do so.
After succeeding in its legal bid to disqualify the Youngspiration duo, the government had “commenced legal proceedings” against lawmakers “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, Nathan Law Kwun-chung, Edward Yiu Chung-yim and Lau Siu-lai , asking the High Court to declare their oaths invalid and their Legco seats vacant. On December 15, the judge at the Court of First Instance, Mr Justice Thomas Au Hing-cheung, declined to give them the normal 42-day period to allow legal aid applications to be processed, but he adjourned the case until the week of February 6 to allow the four to prepare their cases.