Former pro-democracy lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting and six other people appeared in the District Court on Tuesday over the July 21 Yuen Long gang attack in 2019.
A large group of men wielding sticks launched indiscriminate assaults on passengers in the town's MTR station, putting dozens of people, including Lam, in hospital.
Police came under fire for failing to prevent or respond to the violence, or make any arrests on the night itself.
More than a year later, Lam and six other victims of the gang rampage were arrested and charged with rioting, as police presented a whole new version of events, claiming the attack was in fact a fight between two equally matched sides.
In court, the ex-legislator's lawyer said his client was ready to enter a not guilty plea.
But judge Justin Ko was told that all the other defendants needed more time to seek legal advice and apply for legal aid.
No pleas were taken and Ko adjourned the case until March 23.
All seven were released on bail and Lam was again barred from leaving Hong Kong.
Crowds of people went to the hearing in support of the defendants.
Lam accused the authorities of trying to distort what actually happened on the night in question by prosecuting him and the six others.
"The history of July 21 is there for everyone in Hong Kong to see. No matter how they try to distort or rewrite it, it will not change people’s conscience," he told reporters.
"I’ll definitely defend myself. I have very strong evidence to prove my innocence. And I also believe that the other six defendants have very strong evidence to prove their innocence."
Seven appear in court over 7.21 Yuen Long 'riot'
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