Bail for another Hong Kong opposition figure from group of 47 charged under national security law

·2-min read

The High Court has granted bail to one more Hong Kong opposition figure among 47 charged over an unofficial primary election last year, bringing the number of defendants awaiting trial outside of custody in the subversion case to 12.

Owen Chow Ka-shing, a candidate in the primary, secured bail of HK$50,000 (US$6,440) plus a surety of HK$50,000 from Madam Justice Esther Toh Lye-ping on Tuesday, on the condition he refrain from all acts and speeches that could endanger national security, as well as from contacting foreign government officials and legislators.

Chow, 24, was also barred from running, organising and coordinating any elections, and from leaving Hong Kong, with the requirement that he surrender all travel documents.

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The activist was further required to report to a police station every day, observe a seven-hour curfew each night at his stated address and refrain from contacting any prosecution witnesses.

Owen Chow. Photo: Facebook
Owen Chow. Photo: Facebook

He is among 47 opposition politicians and activists charged under the national security law with conspiracy to commit subversion, over their roles in what prosecutors described as a plot to paralyse the government and topple the city’s leader by securing a controlling majority in the Legislative Council through an unofficial primary election last July.

They were first taken to court on March 1, which led to a four-day marathon hearing, ending with Chief Magistrate Victor So Wai-tak granting bail to 15 defendants, rejecting applications from 31 others, and remanding all of them in custody after prosecutors challenged the successful bids.

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The next day, prosecutors made a U-turn and withdrew their applications against four of them. In three subsequent sessions of review proceedings in the same month, Toh upheld So’s decision in respect to seven defendants and revoked the bail of four others.

All 47 are expected to return to court before So on July 8, for committal proceedings to transfer the case to the higher Court of First Instance, where the maximum sentence is life in prison.

Both Toh and So are designated to handle cases under the Beijing-imposed law, which came into effect last June to ban acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

This article Bail for another Hong Kong opposition figure from group of 47 charged under national security law first appeared on South China Morning Post

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