The first person charged under Hong Kong’s national security law for allegedly chanting pro-independence slogans has once again been denied bail.
Mr Justice Alex Lee Wan-tang of the High Court on Tuesday dismissed Adam Ma Chun-man’s second attempt to apply for bail since he was remanded last month on one count of incitement to commit secession for allegedly chanting pro-independence slogans in public.
The recently unemployed 30-year-old is alleged 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.
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Prosecutors alleged the offence took place at 10 different locations between August 15 and November 22.
The case will return to West Kowloon Court on February 10, pending further inquiries, including the gathering of relevant security footage, examining the defendant’s five mobile phones, and taking witness statements.
Ma is the third person charged under the Beijing-imposed law – which criminalises acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with external forces – since its enactment on June 30.
The first defendant, Tong Ying-kit, was charged with inciting secession and terrorism for allegedly driving his motorcycle into a group of police officers while carrying a flag calling for the city’s liberation at a July 1 demonstration. He will stand trial at the High Court.
In October, activist Tony Chung Hon-lam, who founded the now-defunct Studentlocalism group, was charged with secession, money laundering and conspiring to publish seditious content.
Last week, media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, founder of Next Digital, which owns the Apple Daily newspaper, was charged with one count of colluding with foreign powers.
All four men applied for bail on their first appearance at West Kowloon Court, but their applications were dismissed by Chief Magistrate Victor So Wai-tak, one of six magistrates designated to handle national security cases. Lee is one of the two designated High Court judges known to the public.