Four democracy activists who played a central role in Hong Kong’s Occupy protests - including the movement’s poster boy Scholarism convenor Joshua Wong Chi-fung - are to make a bid to have their trial on police obstruction charges scrapped.
Lawyers for Scholarism convenor Wong, 18 and Federation of Students head Nathan Law Kwun-chung, 22, told Eastern Court today that they would apply for the charges against their clients to be stayed.
Co-accused Albert Chan Wai-yip, 60, and Raphael Wong Ho-ming, 26, who are representing themselves, will make the same application.
If these applications – due to be made to a magistrate at a hearing on October 26 - are successful, the four men will not face trial.
Law, Chan and Joshua Wong are accused of obstructing Sergeant Ho Kwok-chu, while Chan, Rafael Wong, and Joshua Wong are accused of obstructing another police officer, Lai Kin-man. Joshua Wong and Chan pleaded not guilty to two counts of obstruction, the other defendants to one such count.
The alleged offences took place on June 11 last year, when they took part in a protest outside the central government’s liaison office in Western District.
They were protesting against the release of a white paper by the State Council, which stressed Beijing’s “comprehensive jurisdiction” over Hong Kong.
Randy Shek, for Joshua Wong and Jeffrey Tam Chun-kit, for Law, told Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai that they would apply for the charges against their clients to be stayed.
Chan, of the People Power group, and Raphael Wong, a vice-chairman of the League of Social Democrats, are representing themselves.
Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai scheduled the preliminary hearing on October 26.
The magistrate said she would not set a trial date, in case the magistrate in the preliminary hearing ruled in favour of the four.
Before today’s hearing, a group of supporters chanted slogans outside the court in support of the defendants.