Prosecutors seek clarity on use of riot charge - RTHK
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Prosecutors seek clarity on use of riot charge

2020-09-21 HKT 21:40
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  • The Department of Justice is seeking clarity on when charges such as rioting should apply. File image: Shutterstock
    The Department of Justice is seeking clarity on when charges such as rioting should apply. File image: Shutterstock
The Department of Justice is asking the Court of Appeal to clarify whether people who give active assistance to unauthorised protests, including driving participants away or providing materials, should face charges such as rioting and illegal assembly.

The news emerged in a letter from the department to a man, Tong Wai-hung, who was cleared of both offences in July.

The court delivered a not-guilty verdict because prosecutors could not prove that Tong and his wife, who was also charged, were on Des Voeux Road West, where the clashes took place, on July 28 last year. According to the letter, Tong's acquittal will not be challenged.

In the letter, the department said illegal assembly and riots were “fluid” events that involved countless participants taking up different roles.

That could include driving participants away from the scene or digging up bricks for use in the clashes. The department argues that such people should be held to have jointly committed the offences.