Judges cite intention in acquitting two defendants - RTHK
Temperature Humidity
News Archive Can search within past 12 months

Judges cite intention in acquitting two defendants

2024-05-30 HKT 13:41
Share this story facebook
  • Lawrence Lau, left, and Lee Yue-shun speak to reporters after their release. Photo: RTHK
    Lawrence Lau, left, and Lee Yue-shun speak to reporters after their release. Photo: RTHK
Three judges presiding over a subversion trial centred on an opposition plot to take control of Legco to disrupt government operations said in their ruling on Thursday that two of the defendants were acquitted because they were not sure if the pair had the intention to subvert state power.

According to the judgement, former district councillors Lawrence Lau and Lee Yue-shun never advocated vetoing government budgets in the election forum they had attended.

The prosecution argued during the trial that the suspects planned to indiscriminately veto any budget or public expenditure to be introduced by the government, had they become Legco members.

Handing down the verdict, the judges said although Lau's name appeared on a declaration of poll candidates, they were not sure if he had signed it himself or authorised someone to sign it on his behalf.

Signatories to the "Inked without Regret" declaration agreed to use the vetoing power of lawmakers to force the chief executive to respond to the five demands of protesters.

"It is a fact that [Lau] did not post the [declaration] on his Facebook page and he did not make use of the [declaration] in his electioneering work," the judgement read.

The judges also said although the now-disbanded Civic Party, which Lee belonged to, endorsed the declaration, he was not yet a candidate at the time.

They also noted that Lee had asked his election team to come up with a new pamphlet that did not mention the five demands after looking at the national security law, which took effect in June 2020.

The pair were released after the verdict at the West Kowloon Court.

"There are still other defendants in this case, warranting our concern and even love," Lau told reporters outside the courtroom.

"If there's any star in this case, this judgement should be the star. It sets the jurisprudence, reasoning, logic, perspectives of our judges. Please study it. This is more important than any single individual of this case. This is part of our rule of law."

Lee said the first thing he'd like to do was to have a meal with his family.

"I feel calm, as I have always been... Thank you to everyone who have been concerned about us and expressing your care. We all can feel that.

"Because there is a tendency for the prosecution to apply for an appeal, so I cannot make any comment on this case at this moment."

Judges cite intention in acquitting two defendants