Hong Kong Law & Crime Politics & Protest

Appeal court clears way for 8 New Territories land activists to proceed with appeal at top court

The Court of Appeal has cleared the way for eight protesters involved in the 2014 northeast New Territories protests to proceed with their jail sentence appeals at the city’s top court.

high court

File photo: In-Media.

The Court of Appeal granted the protesters certification to proceed to the Court of Final Appeal for permission to appeal.

In August, the activists were jailed for between eight and 13 months over their involvement in the protests outside the Legislative Council. The clashes were triggered by then-Finance Committee chair Ng Leung-sing forcing a vote on a HK$340 million funding plan for a controversial northeast New Territories development plan.

They had already finished serving their initial community service sentences handed down by the Magistrates Court, but the Department of Justice successfully sought harsher sentences for them. All except activist Billy Chiu Hin-chung appealed.

Green light for eight

On Tuesday, the Court of Appeal – which had made the decision to jail the protesters three months ago – handed down a judgment granting the applications on questions of law made by eight of the jailed activists.

The eight included: Sunny Leung Hiu-yeung, Raphael Wong Ho-ming, Leung Wing-lai, Chu Wai-chung, Willis Ho Kit-wang, Koel Chow Koot-yin, Yim Man-wa, and Kwok Yiu-cheong.

The applications made by Lau Kwok-leung, Ivan Lam Long-yin, Wong Kan-yuen and Chan Pak-shan were rejected.

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Northeast New Territories activists in front of the courthouse. Photo: 社會民主連線 via Facebook.

According to sources cited by Ming Pao, most of the jailed activists will apply for bail this week. All of them – including Billy Chiu – will also take the matter to the Court of Final Appeal.

In the judgment, the judges acknowledged that the Court of Final Appeal earlier granted leave to three democracy activists – Joshua Wong, Alex Chow and Nathan Law – to appeal their jail sentences on three specific issues. The court said in granting certification for specific questions of law that it was “in light of the [Court of Final Appeal] determination.”

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Appeal court clears way for 8 New Territories land activists to proceed with appeal at top court