The nine leading activists of the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement will receive their sentences on April 24, the court ruled on Wednesday.
District court Judge Johnny Chan said the court needed 14 days to obtain reports on defendant Tommy Cheung, including a probation officer’s report and a report on whether Cheung is suitable for community service.
In the meantime, all nine had their bail extended and were allowed to leave.
On Tuesday, each of the nine activists was found guilty of public nuisance charges in relation to the 79-day protests in 2014, and could now face up to seven years behind bars.
The Umbrella Movement was the biggest pro-democracy protest in the city’s history, during which thousands occupied Admiralty, Mong Kok and Causeway Bay from September to December of 2014.
The nine were Benny Tai, Chan Kin-man, Reverend Chu Yiu-ming – known collectively as the “Occupy trio” – lawmakers Tanya Chan, Shiu Ka-chun, former student leaders Tommy Cheung, Eason Chung, and activists Raphael Wong and Lee Wing-tat.
Defence lawyers on Wednesday continued arguments on sentencing, with the representatives of Cheung, Chan, Shiu and Wong asking the judge to consider community service orders or suspended sentences.
Barrister Hectar Pun drew the judge’s attention to Cheung’s young age, as Cheung was only 20 during the events of the Umbrella Movement.
Barrister Wong Ching-yu, representing Tanya Chan, argued that there was no direct precedent in Hong Kong concerning how to sentence people convicted of inciting public nuisance.
However, the judge only asked for pre-sentence reports on Cheung.
Most of the activists also submitted personal statements to the court, some of which were read out in Cantonese.
Eason Chung, through his lawyer Philip Dykes, was the only activist to ask the court not to give him a community service order.
Mitigation took about an hour, and the hearing was adjourned before noon.
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