A marathon bail hearing for 47 pro-democracy figures charged with subversion has resumed, with chief magistrate Victor So expected to address defence requests to remove reporting restrictions before eventually handing down his decisions on bail later in the day, should time permit.
Dozens of supporters of the accused once again lined up outside the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court on Thursday morning, hoping to grab a spot to watch the proceedings in person.
Hong Kong’s largest national security case to date was adjourned on Wednesday evening with no decisions having been made after a third day of the hearing.
The long sessions have taken a physical toll on defendants, with several taken to hospital after the first day of the hearing, which lasted until just before 3am in the morning.
With all 47 figures in court at the same time, defence lawyers were only able to finish making their bail applications for their clients on Wednesday. However, some indicated in the evening that they hoped to make supplementary submissions.
Lawyers for Alvin Yeung, Kwok Ka-ki, Jeremy Tam, Lee Yue-shun, Lam Cheuk-ting, Clarisse Yeung and Gwyneth Ho also told the court their clients had decided they no longer needed their services.
The trio of Yeung, Kwok and Tam, representing themselves, were then allowed to directly address the court. What they said, however, is covered by reporting restrictions.
Earlier in the session, some defence lawyers had requested that the court remove reporting restrictions for the bail hearing, saying journalists had asked about the matter. Lifting the restrictions would give the public a better understanding of how prosecutors handle national security cases, they said.
However, prosecutors objected to the request, arguing it may be unfair to both sides and could obstruct on-going investigations.
National security bail hearing enters fourth day
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