A clerk and a secondary school student accused of conspiring to produce and distribute leaflets advocating Hong Kong independence have been remanded in custody after a magistrate adjourned the hearing by eight weeks.
Chloe Cho Suet-sum, 45, and Wong Chun-wai, 17, on Tuesday appeared at West Kowloon Court before Chief Magistrate Victor So Wai-tak, who had been designated to hear national security cases.
Both suspects face a charge of “conspiracy to print, publish, distribute, display or reproduce seditious publications”.
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Cho is a senior clerk working at the Tsing Yi campus of the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education, while Wong is a Form Four student at Kowloon Technical School in Sham Shui Po.
They were accused of conspiring between May and December last year to produce seditious material that contained messages advocating Hong Kong independence.
Cho and Wong were arrested on Sunday in Western district and Sham Shui Po respectively by officers from police’s national security department.
But they were charged under the Crimes Ordinance. Under Section 10 of the law, anyone who prints, publishes, sells, offers for sale, distributes, displays or reproduces any seditious material is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of HK$5,000 and imprisonment of two years on first conviction, and three years in jail for a subsequent act.
The court did not hear how the two were related or came to know each other.
So adjourned the case to August 4, pending further police investigations of the mobile phones and computers seized from the accused.