Eight of the 13 activists who were jailed last month over their participation in the 2014 Northeast New Territories development protests outside the Legislative Council have lodged appeals.
A Department of Justice spokesperson told HKFP that the department received notices of motion filed by eight of the defendants on Monday. They are Leung Hiu-yeung, Lau Kwok-leung, Leung Wing-lai, Lam Long-yin, Willis Ho Kit-wang, Yim Man-wa, Kwok Yiu-cheong, and Wong Kan-yuen.
The defendants “seek a certificate from the Court of Appeal that a point of law of great and general importance is involved in the decision of the case.”
The other five defendants, amongst them the League of Social Democrat’s Raphael Wong, do not have legal representation and have yet to lodge appeals.
The demonstrations took place in response to Finance Committee chair Ng Leung-sing forcing a vote on the HK$340 million funding plan for a controversial northeast New Territories development proposal. The vote took place whilst pan-democrats were out of their seats.
The defendants were convicted of unlawful assembly offences, and had already finished serving their initial community service sentences. However, the Department of Justice appealed, seeking harsher sentences. The Court of Appeal then sentenced the members of the group to eight to 13 months in prison.
In a judgment handed down last Monday, the Court of Appeal said that the protesters’ act of charging at the Legislative Council building “with violence” was “inconsistent with the spirit of civil disobedience.”
The court ruled that the trial magistrate “erred in law and principle” when he gave community service orders, saying that it must impose a deterrent sentence and that “immediate imprisonment is plainly the only sentencing option.”