Occupy student trio get leave to appeal jail terms - RTHK
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Occupy student trio get leave to appeal jail terms

2017-11-07 HKT 10:11
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  • Occupy student trio get leave to appeal jail terms
Hong Kong's top court on Tuesday gave the green light for an appeal by Occupy student leaders Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow, over their jail terms for storming Civic Square in 2014.

In August, the three activists were sentenced to six to eight months in jail for their participation in the incident that sparked the 79-day Occupy protests.

The former student leaders were challenging their sentences on the grounds that substantial and grave injustice had been done.

Their lawyers questioned whether the sentencing court had the right to "reverse, modify, substitute and supplement" basic facts that were made at the trial in giving out harsher punishments.

They also asked to what extent had the court taken into account the motives for the trio's actions – especially when they asserted their protest was a form of civil disobedience.

After listening to the arguments for half an hour, the Court of Final Appeal cleared the way for the appeals.

Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma said the top court thinks that four points raised by the applicants merit further discussion, including whether the Court of Appeal has the right to introduce new information to the set of facts laid out in the original trial.

He also said how the court should consider the motivations – such as civil disobedience – behind their actions and whether the lower court was right to come up with custodial sentences based on new factors is also worth a hearing.

Ma also said the court will hear if Wong’s young age should have been taken into account.

The Court of Final Appeal will hear the case on January 16 and Law and Wong had their bail extended while Chow was also granted bail.

Speaking to reporters before entering the court, Law told reporters that they were prepared to be locked up again if the court refused their application.

"The Court of Appeal set a very strict ruling on defining assembly that's not peaceful. So by appealing the result of the Court of Appeal, we could really get a better ruling on the sentencing concerning the incident or concerning the cases on unlawful assembly."

The trio had already completed non-custodial punishments handed down last year by a magistrate. But the Court of Appeal decided on harsher punishment after the government asked for a review.

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Last updated: 2017-11-07 HKT 10:46