An internet radio personality accused of hosting shows with the intention of exciting disaffection against Beijing and the Hong Kong government has been remanded in custody on sedition charges pending further police investigations.
Edmund Wan Yiu-sing, better known as “Giggs”, on Wednesday made his first court appearance to face four counts of acting with seditious intent, stemming from what he said during programmes he presented on four occasions between August and October last year.
But the 52-year-old host with online radio channel D100 was not required to indicate his plea, as senior public prosecutor Ivan Cheung Cheuk-kan revealed police were still investigating.
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Chief Magistrate Victor So Wai-tak rejected Wan’s application for bail, reminding the defendant that he could renew his bid at the higher Court of First Instance. The case will return to the same court on May 10.
Supporters of the radio personality called out his nickname and shouted encouragement as soon as he walked into the courtroom.
Among them were his family, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, ousted opposition lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung and district councillor Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit.
West Kowloon Court heard Wan was accused of having the intention “to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection” against the central and the Hong Kong governments.
His radio broadcasts were allegedly intended to “raise discontent or disaffection”, “counsel disobedience to law or any lawful order”, or “excite inhabitants of Hong Kong to attempt to procure the alteration, otherwise than by lawful means, of any other matter in Hong Kong as by law established”.
The four charges stemmed from Section 10 of the Crimes Ordinance, which forbids doing, attempting to do or conspiring to do any act with seditious intention.
The four shows linked to the charges were said to have aired on August 8, August 15, September 5 and October 10.
On Wednesday, the same court also saw the return of 30-year-old Adam Ma Chun-man, the third person charged under the Beijing-imposed national security law, as prosecutors sought to transfer his case to the higher District Court, where jail terms can go up to seven years.
That application was granted by magistrate So, sitting in his capacity as a judicial officer designated by the city’s chief executive to handle cases relating to national security.
Ma is expected to appear in the Wan Chai court on March 2 for plea on a count of incitement to commit secession.
The unemployed man was said to have intended to commit secession or undermine national unification by separating Hong Kong from mainland China, or altering the city’s legal status by unlawful means.
He did not apply for bail, after the High Court refused his bid last December.
His trial was expected to be conducted in English, as he is represented by Paul Harris SC.
But as So announced the trial was going to be heard in English, Ma reversed the decision, shouting: “Can I have a Chinese trial?”
Ma also shouted slogans while leaving court.
“Liberate Hong Kong,” he called out as correctional officers escorted him away. “Hongkongers, don’t be afraid.”
There are two designated judges at the District Court known to the public so far: district judges Stanley Chan Kwong-chi and Amanda Woodcock.
This article Hong Kong internet radio host denied bail on sedition charges, stemming from broadcasts ‘intending to excite disaffection’ toward Beijing, local government first appeared on South China Morning Post