A Hong Kong court has ordered the arrest of two men who failed to appear in the dock on Friday to answer rioting charges stemming from clashes between anti-government protesters and police officers at two of the busiest rail interchanges in the city last year.
Kowloon City Court issued warrants for the arrest of photographer Wong Mau-chun, 29, and student Lung Yan-wa, 20, after prosecutors laid nine counts against the duo and four other students over incidents at the stations and near them on the night of August 31.
Prosecutors said they would proceed with the cases against the remaining four – Kan Tsz-pan, 21, Lin Chun-hung, 19, Cheuk Ka-ho, 24, and Wan Ka-lam, 20 – at District Court.
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Principal Magistrate Ada Yim Shun-yee adjourned the case to September 16 to allow time for the prosecution to prepare documents for the transfer of the hearing. The four were granted bail between HK$3,000 (US$386) and HK$5,000.
Five of the six defendants – including Wong, Lung, Lin, Cheuk and Wan – are jointly charged with rioting inside the paid area of Prince Edward MTR station. They also face two joint counts of assault for allegedly injuring two men, identified as X and Y in court documents, at the same location.
According to the prosecution, a third victim, referred to as female Z, had her mobile phone snatched by Lung, Cheuk and Wong, who smashed it. The trio face a single count of robbery, with Wong facing an additional charge of criminal damage over the incident.
Wong, Lung, Lin and Wan jointly face one count each of criminal damage and rioting after allegedly vandalising facilities inside Mong Kok MTR station on the same day, including 18 security cameras, four turnstiles and four ticket machines, which cost HK$819,181 to repair, according to the MTR Corporation.
Wong and Kan are charged with one count of unlawful assembly at the junction of Nathan Road and Nelson Street, also on the same day. They are accused of behaving in a “disorderly, intimidating, insulting or provocative manner”, while Lung has been charged with one count of possessing offensive weapons in a public place, allegedly two devices capable of emitting laser rays, at Yau Ma Tei MTR station.
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This article Hong Kong protests: arrest sought of two men who fail to appear in court over riot charges first appeared on South China Morning Post