Hong Kong protests: five Chinese University students charged with rioting over Monday’s disturbance on Sha Tin campus

Jasmine Siu

pFour young Chinese University students charged with rioting over the protests on school campus on Monday have been granted bail while one of their co-defendants remained in hospital./p

pThe three men and one woman, aged from 18 to 21, were on Wednesday taken to Sha Tin Court, where more than a hundred people, many of them young students, gathered in support as confrontations continued on the university campus./p

pOne defendant Hui Yi-chuen, 20, entered the dock with a large cotton gauze wrapped around his head, while Chan Lik-sik, 18, had a purplish bruise on his left cheekbone./p

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pTheir co-defendant Lau Chun-yuk, 21, did not show up as he remained in Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin. But his defence counsel Norris Chan Chin-chung revealed he could be discharged by Wednesday afternoon./p

pThe defendants apprehended on school campus were among 287 people arrested on Monday./p

pA police spokesman said these defendants were arrested during a clearance operation following repeated warnings against protesters throwing stones and petrol bombs at officers below the bridge./p

pAll five defendants were charged with one joint count of rioting and accused of taking part in a riot with unknown others in the vicinity of Postgraduate Hall near No 2 bridge at the university./p

pimg title="People gather outside Sha Tin Court to offer support to five Chinese University students charged on Wednesday with rioting. Photo: K. Y. Cheng" alt="People gather outside Sha Tin Court to offer support to five Chinese University students charged on Wednesday with rioting. Photo: K. Y. Cheng" width="660" height="385" data-resolution="2" src="https://cdn.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/d8/images/methode/2019/11/13/3d07ddfc-05d6-11ea-a68f-66ebddf9f136_1320x770_165925.JPG" class="caption" //p

pThey were also charged with covering their faces during an unlawful assembly./p

pFoo Hoi-ching, 21, and Hui were each further charged with one count of possession of an offensive weapon or other instrument fit for unlawful purpose./p

pThe former was accused of carrying a screwdriver and a hammer head, while her co-defendant was said to have brought a spanner./p

pNone of them were required to enter a plea after Senior Public Prosecutor Andy Lo Tin-wai asked for more time to allow investigators to review security camera footage and interview witnesses./p

pActing principal magistrate Ko Wai-hung adjourned the case to January 8 next year and released the four defendants on HK$5,000 bail each, with the condition that they obey a curfew, remain in Hong Kong and report to police at least three times a week./p

pTheir co-defendant Lau was expected to appear in court earliest on Wednesday afternoon./p

pThe emPost/em learned Hui had sustained his injuries during arrest, when he was allegedly struck in the head by a stick-like object, requiring four stitches. Hui also complained that he was struck twice in the back./p

pRioting is punishable in Hong Kong by 10 years’ imprisonment./p

pMeanwhile, at Eastern Court, five protesters, aged between 17 and 33, were charged over the protest that lasted between Monday and the early morning of Tuesday, with charges ranging from assaulting a police officer to possessing offensive weapons./p

pThey included transportation worker Qin Qiang, 22, a Chinese two-way entry permit holder. He was charged with possessing an identity card of another person and possessing arms without licence for carrying a bottle of pepper spray in Central at 1am on Tuesday./p

pPrincipal magistrate Bina Chainrai denied Qin bail but granted cash bail to four others varying between HK$1,000 and HK$10,000./p

pMaggie Ma Lai-nga, 17, who was charged with possessing a box cutter in Causeway Bay on Monday, is scheduled to appear in court on Friday as she is still hospitalised./p

pSeparately in the same courtroom, decoration worker Yeung Tsz-yeung, 29, pleaded guilty to criminal damage after he glued a keyhole and sprayed black paint on the front door of a restaurant on Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun on August 5, the day the first citywide strike in relation to the recent civil unrest took place./p

pHis lawyer told Chainrai that Yeung vandalised Ka Kee restaurant because he wanted to assist the protesters, despite not knowing the restaurant owner./p

pChainrai will sentence Yeung on December 4, awaiting a probation officer report./p

pemAdditional reporting by Brian Wong/em/p

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