Six acquitted of conspiracy to riot - RTHK
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Six acquitted of conspiracy to riot

2021-02-19 HKT 22:21
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  • The District Court said there wasn't enough evidence that the suspects used a rented Wan Chai flat as a base for anti-government protests. File photo: RTHK
    The District Court said there wasn't enough evidence that the suspects used a rented Wan Chai flat as a base for anti-government protests. File photo: RTHK
Six people were acquitted of conspiracy to riot by the District Court on Friday after a judge decided there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the prosecution’s case that they were using a rented Wan Chai flat as a base for anti-government protests.

The defendants – four men and two women aged between 17 and 25 – were arrested in the early hours on October 1, 2019 in a flat that was rented out via the Airbnb platform.

Prosecutors told the court that officers found materials that could be used to make petrol bombs; as well as assorted items such as respirators, maps, walkies-talkies and backpacks.

They alleged that the flat was being used as a base for anti-government protesters, for them to rest, and keep their supplies.

But judge Sham Siu-man said the seized items could also be used in daily life, and no petrol bombs, or even half-made ones, were found at the scene. Furthermore, he added, it is unclear who owns the seized materials, saying they could belong to the landlord, or previous tenants.

The judge added that the flat was rented out for residential use, and it was difficult to conclude that the defendants went there planning to join a riot.