The phrase “Hong Kong’s hero, Edward Leung” was discovered graffitied around various spots in the city on Thursday.
Thursday was the second day of the pro-independence activist’s trial, as he faced rioting charges for his part in the Mong Kok unrest during Lunar New Year 2016. He has been in custody since pleading guilty to a charge of assaulting a police officer last month.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s student union said on Facebook that the phrase had been graffitied onto the base of the Goddess of Democracy statue – a symbol of the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre – on campus.
“It is unclear at present who did this,” the union added.
Local media also reported that the same graffiti was found at locations near Tai Po Market MTR station, and on a bridge outside Sheung Shui MTR station.
Leung – former spokeperson of the localist group Hong Kong Indigenous – is being tried at the High Court alongside defendants Lee Nok-man, Lo Kin-man, Lam Ngo-hin and Lam Lun-hing. Another defendant Wong Ka-kui has admitted to rioting charges.
Ray Wong and Alan Li – two other former prominent members from Hong Kong Indigenous – failed to appear in court in December and are being sought by police.
Prosecution counsel completed two days of opening statements on Thursday afternoon after having shown a number of video clips of the incident to the court, and will begin summoning witnesses on Friday.
Rioting carries a maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment under the Public Order Ordinance.