A late-week flurry of legal news, much of which does not boost confidence in the Hong Kong judiciary or law enforcement.
Tam Tak-chi is denied bail – thus stuck in jail for a couple of months – for allegedly ‘uttering seditious words’.
If you want bail, stab Long Hair. Magistrate Cheang Kei-hong frees a man prior to sentencing for doing just that on the grounds that the guy ‘loves society deeply’ – not because he’s 80, which would be some sort of reason. (Not saying this magistrate is biased against the protest movement, but he sentenced a guy to five months for possessing cable ties and took apparent delight in imprisoning others here and here. He also has a connection to foot-licking it says here, but I guess that’s not relevant. CCP foot-fetishism update here.)
If you’re lucky you might get a magistrate who does not bow to the CCP – like the one who has acquitted a pair of innocent bystanders on the grounds that they were innocent bystanders. Why did the HK Police arrest and charge them (let alone start pushing them around the street in the first place), and why did the public prosecutors waste taxpayers’ money bringing the case to court? People are understandably asking questions about police/prosecution practices. Here’s one: what percentage of the 10,000 protest-related arrests were arbitrary or otherwise unjustified, and will the authorities try to jail all of them?
But even if the magistrate does find you innocent, that doesn’t mean it’s over. The government is appealing against the not-guilty verdict handed to Jimmy Lai following charges of intimidating an Oriental Daily reporter-stalker. Remember that the magistrate who let Lai go was mysteriously promoted to an admin job within days. It’s almost as if the Secretary for Justice is taking orders from a CCP obsessed with getting Lai in prison whatever it takes.
Some quick reading…
Asia Times puts an eye-catching headline to the story: CCP announces plan to take control of private sector.
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