Verdict awaited as first Hong Kong safety regulation trial ends | CBC Information

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The trial of the primary particular person to be charged underneath Hong Kong’s sweeping nationwide safety regulation ended Tuesday after practically a month, and now observers will look forward to a verdict within the landmark case to see how related circumstances is perhaps handled.

Tong Ying-kit, 24, was accused of driving his bike into a gaggle of cops whereas carrying a flag bearing the protest slogan, “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our instances,” on July 1 final 12 months, a day after the nationwide safety regulation was enacted.

He pleaded not responsible to fees of inciting secession, terrorism and another cost of harmful driving.

The trial proceeded within the Excessive Courtroom with no jury, a departure from the common-law system in Hong Kong. A verdict will probably be handed down on July 27, with life imprisonment the utmost penalty if discovered responsible.

Nationwide safety circumstances might proceed with no jury if state secrets and techniques must be protected, overseas forces are concerned, or if the private security of jurors must be protected. Trials are presided over by judges hand-picked by Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam.

The nationwide safety regulation was imposed on semi-autonomous Hong Kong by Beijing final 12 months, following months of anti-government protests by these upset by China’s creeping affect over the previous British colony. It outlaws secession, subversion, terrorism and overseas collusion to intervene within the metropolis’s affairs.

Authorities have additionally banned the protest slogan, “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our instances,” stating that it has secessionist connotations.

The laws and the crackdown on dissent that has accompanied it have drawn worldwide condemnation. Critics say that the nationwide safety regulation additional infringes the liberty Hong Kong was promised it might preserve when it was handed to Chinese language management from Britain in 1997.

Greater than 100 folks have been arrested underneath the safety laws.

Tong’s case is being intently watched for clues on how Hong Kong authorities will deal with different nationwide safety circumstances.

Interpretation is essential

On this case, the interpretation of the protest slogan is essential. Prosecutors say that secession might be one of many interpretations of the, “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our instances” slogan, and that Tong knowingly incited secession by carrying the flag and driving into the cops.

Tong’s defence attorneys argue that there are a number of interpretations of such a slogan and it’s not attainable to show that Tong was inciting secession. The defence additionally says that there isn’t a proof that Tong dedicated the act intentionally, and that he had prevented crashing into officers.

The defence additionally mentioned that Tong’s actions shouldn’t be thought of terrorism as there was no severe violence or hurt to society.

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