Twenty-nine to admit guilt in national security case - RTHK
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Twenty-nine to admit guilt in national security case

2022-08-18 HKT 13:46
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  • The revelation that 29 defendants plan to plead guilty came as a reporting ban was lifted by the court. File photo: RTHK
    The revelation that 29 defendants plan to plead guilty came as a reporting ban was lifted by the court. File photo: RTHK
Pro-democracy activists Benny Tai and Joshua Wong, and former lawmakers Wu Chi-wai, Alvin Yeung, Claudia Mo and Chu Hoi-dick, are among 29 people who plan to plead guilty to violating the national security law through their involvement in unofficial Legco primary polls two years ago.

The revelation came as a reporting ban on their committal proceedings was lifted by West Kowloon Principal Magistrate Peter Law on Thursday.

Eighteen others charged alongside them with conspiracy to commit subversion, including former lawmakers Lam Cheuk-ting, Leung Kwok-hung and Raymond Chan, plan to plead not guilty.

They will be put on trial at the High Court at an unspecified date. The Judiciary’s website, meanwhile, shows that case management hearings for some of the defendants will be held next month and in November.

The 47 defendants could be jailed for life.

Some of them sought to remove the reporting ban earlier this year, but their applications were rejected by the magistrate.

However, Law lifted the restrictions after a recent High Court ruling ordered a reporting ban be lifted in a separate national security case involving activist and barrister Chow Hang-tung.

The lifting came just after the Secretary for Justice informed the defendants in the largest national security case yet held in Hong Kong that their trial would not be held before a jury.

It will instead be heard by a panel of three High Court judges.