NPC Standing Committee member Tam Yiu-chung says he has no idea which of his fellow delegates attended the trial and sentencing hearing of the group of Hongkongers detained in Shenzhen, after the court said that representatives had been present.
Ten of the 12 Hongkongers accused of illegally entering mainland waters while reportedly fleeing to Taiwan by speedboat were given prison terms of between seven months and three years by the Yantian District People's Court on Wednesday.
The court claimed that NPC and CPPCC delegates from Hong Kong and Shenzhen, the media, and relatives of the defendants, were all present at the hearings.
But the detainees' families told Hong Kong media that none of them were able to even attempt to sit in on the trial, due to the short notice given.
Tam, meanwhile, was asked on an RTHK programme whether any of Hong Kong's 36 NPC deputies actually attended the hearing.
Tam said even though he had asked his fellow delegates about the matter, no one responded.
But he insisted that some of his colleagues must have gone to the trial.
“I believe if [the court] said so, then someone must have attended it,” he said.
Tam stressed that mainland authorities had handled the case in accordance with the law, adding that if any of the defendants wanted to appeal, they could do so within 10 days.
But former pro-democracy lawmaker Chu Hoi-dick, who’s been assisting the detainees' families, said an appeal is almost a non-starter.
Chu explained that the mainland-appointed lawyers for the group have stopped helping the relatives or even answering their calls, as their contracts have ended.
"Their families have no clue about how to make an appeal for them, because the lawyers appointed by the CCP do not talk to them concerning the process of appeal," he said.
"They can have no way to get access to their loved ones, who are still in the detention camp. So this is another example of their basic rights being deprived."