Ousted Hong Kong lawmaker Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang has been ordered to serve his four-week jail sentence after losing his appeal over charges related to storming a Legislative Council meeting in an attempt to take his oath of office four years ago.
Mr Justice Wilson Chan Ka-shun of the High Court on Wednesday upheld Leung’s criminal conviction for taking part in an unlawful assembly, finding the 34-year-old had displayed violent behaviour involving illegal force during the chaotic incident on November 2, 2016.
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“The magistrate had correctly pointed out that even if the appellant were a lawmaker at the time of offence, it still does not exempt him from criminal liabilities within the precinct of the meeting chamber,” he explained in his 24-page judgment.
The judge also dismissed Leung’s claim that the sentence was manifestly excessive and wrong in principle, ruling the immediate custodial term appropriate as he “clearly had no remorse”.
Speaking before the hearing, Leung, who was unseated by the court after the incident, vowed to appeal should he lose this first attempt, saying he found it “rather ridiculous” that a lawmaker should be prosecuted for “unlawful assembly” in Legco.
His defence counsel, Douglas Kwok King-hin, later said they would study Chan’s judgment to see if there were “points of law of great and general importance” that would merit bringing the case to the Court of Final Appeal.
Chan has tentatively scheduled a hearing on September 11 for Leung to apply for a certificate to the top court, should he choose to proceed with that route.
The case was part of the oath-taking saga in 2016 triggered by Leung and Yau Wai-ching’s anti-China antics during their swearing-in ceremony on October 12, which caused them to be barred from the chamber.
The National People’s Congress Standing Committee in Beijing issued an interpretation of the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the following month, ruling public officials were required to take their oaths “sincerely” and “solemnly”.
Leung and Yau, 29, were officially unseated by the High Court on November 15 – 13 days after they stormed the meeting.
Kowloon City Court had previously heard several security guards testify about how the chaos unfolded when the duo and their assistants attempted to storm into a side conference room during an ongoing meeting, despite having been told they were not allowed to participate, as Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen had decided to postpone their swearing-in.
Baggio Leung was accused of charging at the guards’ perimeter and attempting to jump over them by grabbing the door frame to lift himself up. He was also said to have provoked one of the guards, exclaiming, “Hit me.”
Five guards were said to be injured during the clashes, which lasted about 20 minutes. The meeting was then adjourned, and the case later reported to police.
Leung was the only person to appeal his sentence and conviction after he, Yau and three of their assistants, were found guilty on a joint charge in May 2018 and sentenced to four weeks’ jail the following month.
His co-defendants have completed their sentences.