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Activist Tony Chung denied bail, charged with secession under security law

2020/10/30 — 13:11

鍾翰林, Tony Chung Hon-lam

鍾翰林, Tony Chung Hon-lam

An ex-convenor of pro-independence group Studentlocalism is spending the night in jail having been hauled before the court on charges of secession, money laundering and plotting to publish seditious materials.

Tony Chung Hon-lam, 20, has been charged under the national security law (NSL) recently enacted for Hong Kong by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in mainland China.

The newly-created NSL branch of the Hong Kong police arrested Chung on Tuesday morning and had him detained at a police station before bringing him to the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday morning (29 October 2020).

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Chief Magistrate Victor So Wai-tak, one of the designated magistrates to hear NSL cases, denied Chung bail and remanded him in custody pending his next court appearance on 7 January 2021.

The 10-week adjournment is to enable police to examine Chung’s mobile phone, computer and social media messages, and to seek his bank records.

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Together with persons not identified in court, Chung is alleged to have “actively organised, planned, committed or participated in acts, whether or not by force or threat of force, with a view to committing secession or undermining national unification” between 1 July 2020 and 27 October 2020.

The alleged objective is to separate Hong Kong from China or alter its legal status by unlawful means, according to the charge laid under Article 20 of the NSL.

Chung faces two counts of money laundering in relation to an amount of HK$133,417.69 in his Paypal Hong Kong account and a sum of HK$564,318.19 in his HSBC account. The money laundering offences are alleged to have occurred between January 2018 and July this year.

On the plotting charge, Chung is accused of conspiring “with other persons to publish seditious publications”, the contents of which are not apparent on the particulars of offence. The offence is said to have taken place between November 2018 and June this year.

No plea was taken in Thursday’s hearing. Barrister Jeffrey Tam Chun-kit, for Chung, applied for bail. Magistrate So refused, deeming the accused a flight risk.

Yanni Ho, who was arrested on 27th, the same day as Chung, was on the other hand granted bail Wednesday at midnight. Both Ho and Chung’s aunt came to the hearing held earlier yesterday. Tony Chung’s relatives and friends, activist Alexandra Wong Fung-yiu (‘Auntie Wong’), District Councillor Wong Pak-yu, were waiting outside the magistrate court all afternoon for the police vehicle to leave the building. Wong was seen weeping at the scene.

Chief Magistrate So is a designated judge responsible to handle the case of national security. He presided the first of such case on a 23-year-old Tong Ying-kit, whose motorcycle with a “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” flag was rushed to three policemen on 1 July.

Case file: WKCC3728/2020

 

Source:
被控分裂國家等罪 鍾翰林保釋被拒 即時還押

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