A legal scholar said on Thursday that he thinks suspended jail terms would have been reasonable sentences for nine pro-democracy activists convicted for leading the Occupy Movement in 2014.
Eric Cheung, the top lecturer at Hong Kong University's law faculty, said the evidence submitted during the trial was related to what happened before police fired tear gas at protesters on 28 September 2014.
But Cheung thinks the judge appears to have made the defendants accountable for the full 79 days of occupation of the streets of Admiralty, Mong Kok and Causeway Bay.
The scholar said on a radio programme that there's absolutely no doubt that the movement was peaceful and non-violent, as diverse as people's views may be on the movement.
Cheung also said he felt that the judge, Johnny Chan, misinterpreted a case in the United Kingdom, by considering whether the defendants had made a public apology as a factor for sentencing.
Cheung also said it's time for the public to re-think whether the government was responsible for the widespread protests, or if the police had a responsibility for firing tear gas at the crowd.
The legal scholar said he thinks the case is highly likely to end up in the Court of Final Appeal, as he thinks there is much room for an appeal.
Suspended jail term was enough for Occupy: scholar
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