Pan-dems contempt case adjourned pending CFA verdict - RTHK
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Pan-dems contempt case adjourned pending CFA verdict

2020-11-06 HKT 18:28
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  • Pan-dems contempt case adjourned pending CFA verdict
West Kowloon Magistracy has adjourned the case of eight pro-democracy politicians being prosecuted over the chaos at a Legco House Committee meeting in May, pending a Court of Final Appeal hearing on a similar matter.

Lawmakers Wu Chi-wai, Ted Hui, Andrew Wan, Helena Wong and Fernando Cheung; former legislators Chu Hoi-dick and Ray Chan; along with Labour Party chairman Steven Kwok were charged with contempt and interference with members under the Legco’s Powers and Privileges Ordinance. Scuffles broke out between rival camps during a committee meeting in May in a dispute over the election of a chair.

At the court hearing on Friday, magistrate Peter Law agreed to a joint request by the prosecution and defence to adjourn the hearing to February 11, after the Court of Final Appeal decides whether to approve an appeal by former lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung in his document-snatching case.

Leung was accused of contempt for snatching a folder of documents from then development undersecretary Eric Ma at a Legco panel meeting in November 2016.

The Court of Appeal had ruled in June that lawmakers are not immune from criminal prosecution if they behave in a disorderly manner during Legco meetings. The Court of Final Appeal will decide on February 2 on whether to grant leave for Leung to appeal.

The eight defendants in the House Committee contempt case were granted bail of HK$1,000 each.

Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, Wu, of the Democratic Party, said the case was politically motivated but stressed the pan-democratic camp will continue its fight for justice.

Cheung, of the Labour Party, accused the government of suppressing dissent in the legislature.

The defendants face up to 12 months in prison each if convicted.