[UPDATE - 2.50pm, June 17]
Five men allegedly involved in a plot to detonate bombs in Hong Kong as the city’s legislature debates a controversial political reform proposal were denied bail at Kwun Tong Court today.
The five – Chan Yiu-shing, Cheng Wai-shing, Rizzy Pennelli, Wu Kai-fu and Man Ting-lock – were remanded after their first court appearance, each facing one count of conspiracy to cause an explosion, or making or keeping explosives with intent to endanger life or property.
Another woman defendant, Sarene Chan Cheuk-lam, despite facing the same charge, was granted bail. None of them were required to make a plea today.
Six out of 10 suspects arrested over an alleged bomb plot in
The five men and one woman will appear in
Police swooped on the 10 suspects – six men and four women aged 21 to 58 – in citywide raids on Sunday and Monday that also uncovered suspected explosives and bomb-making chemicals.
Police and a former senior law enforcer yesterday downplayed the likelihood of terrorism in the city. Nevertheless, the force began an operation codenamed "Jointbuilder" following a risk assessment in the light of this case.
"Apart from stepping up patrols in various districts, officers will visit companies selling chemicals or chemical products to conduct investigations and take enforcement action … if necessary," police said.
They asked the public to inform police if they see any suspicious people or objects.
Under the Crimes Ordinance, the worst punishment for trying to cause an explosion, or making or keeping an explosive with intent to endanger life or property, is 20 years' imprisonment.
In continuing investigations, one of the suspects, surnamed Man, was taken in the afternoon to a disused four-storey ATV studio complex in Sai Kung – where some of the chemicals were found on Sunday – to reconstruct the crime. The masked and chained man, wearing sandals, blue chinos and a grey jacket, was tired but gave a detailed account of the alleged bomb plotters' actions in and around the L-shaped complex, calmly giving "yes" and "no" answers during the hour-long visit.
In one animated scene, Man described how he climbed a 4.3-metre wall to break into the complex, which, though empty, was surrounded by village houses and lay along a road that was well-used by residents.
Several officers escorted Man inside, away from the glare of the media.
Police repeated that there was little threat of terrorism in