90-year-old priest caught threatening national security

A few days after academic Hui Po-keung’s arrest at the airport, NatSec police come for lawyer Margaret Ng (age 74), singer Denise Ho (happy birthday) and Catholic Cardinal Joseph Zen (age 90) on suspicion of ‘collusion with foreign forces’. (Apparently this.) They have now been released on bail. Also, ex-lawmaker Cyd Ho (67) – already in jail. All were trustees of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which helped people arrested during the 2019 protests. 

Brief background to the Fund here, and more here. (One suggestion is that the trustees ran it so carefully that the NatSec cops can’t find a way to charge them with money-laundering – the usual lawfare method to crush fundraising/crowdfunding.)

Pre-2019/20, such fund-raising was normal and of little interest to the authorities because it was perfectly legal. But the new regime is too paranoid to handle it.

These are hardly criminals. They are widely admired in and beyond their respective fields. Hui – with marked leftist leanings – is described as ‘a conscientious intellectual and a staunch critic of capitalism and western hegemony’. Ng, in a democratic system, could have been in government. Ho’s commitment to tolerance and inclusion extends to following me on Twitter. The greatest international attention will be on Zen/Chan. Catholic newsletter Pillar offers plenty more on him, plus a comment under the story…

The Church might wish to declare Cardinal Zen, and those like him in Hong Kong, Living Martyrs and formally excommunicate any Catholics who take part in any action deemed to substantially restrict his ability to exercise the Church’s mission.

Or the Vatican will remain fixated on kowtowing to the CCP.

Not a great day for another SCMP op-ed on how John Lee can fix housing and be kind to puppy dogs. EUObserver’s piece on the new CE seems closer to the reality of a…

…fanatical obsession with security – or rather, eradicating any remaining vestiges of dissent…

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10 Responses to 90-year-old priest caught threatening national security

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    “Or the Vatican will remain fixated on kowtowing to the CCP.”

    Yes, this. In hopes that they’ll be able to run around freely practicing their faith in mainland China despite the despotic CCP rule. Ha. Ha.

  2. reductio says:

    I believe Trotsky was a far more aggressive critic of capitalism and Western hegemony that Hui and look what happened to him. Doesn’t matter what you believe or what you’ve done for the Cause; if necessary, all are fodder (‘cept the leader of course) for the great march to the eventual Communist utopia.

  3. Chris Maden says:

    Here’s a piece, possibly paywalled, that paints a picture of Cardinal Zen as – well, everything the CCP is not: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/05/11/cardinal-zen-hong-kong-arrest-china/. As it was written by Jimmy Lai’s buddy Mark Simon, it probably guarantees Cardinal Zen’s incarceration.

    But here’s the central issue. When it came to foreign forces, the people who drafted the NSL had a perfectly good term in common law, “conspiracy,” to work with. The test for a conspiracy is two-fold: first, there must be more than one participant, and second, there must be actual acts. So two old curmudgeons whining in a pub doesn’t cut it, but two old curmudgeons who go out and storm the Capitol together, does.

    “Collude” has no meaning in law. That means HK’s judiciary can write whatever they want into it. Given the overwhelming propensity of NSL judges to take, shall we say, a stern view, that opens the floodgates of hell to definitions of “colluding with foreign forces” that are far-reaching. When, I wonder, will the definition become so broad that filling your car at Caltex is collusion but filling it at Sinopec is not, when buying an Apple phone is collusion but Huawei not, your vaccine from Pfizer collusion and from Sinopharm not.

    Hong Kong is so fucked in so many ways, but innovation in lawfare is not one of them.

  4. Red Dragon says:

    The Vatican’s arse-licking attitude towards the CCP (as exemplified locally by the Papists who infest the upper echelons of the civil service) is hardly surprising.

    After all, the Roman church and the CCP have a lot in common – as anyone with a penchant for dogmatic authoritarianism will readily attest.

  5. steve says:

    As so often happens these days, Dorothy Parker’s poem “Frustration” comes to mind. She was annoyed by idiots at the Algonquin Round Table, but a more purely political application is also warranted. While cathartic, the verse is not a call to outright revolt–that’s registered in the title.

    If I had a shiny gun,
    I could have a world of fun
    Speeding bullets through the brains
    Of the folk who give me pains;

    Or had I some poison gas,
    I could make the moments pass
    Bumping off a number of
    People whom I do not love.

    But I have no lethal weapon-
    Thus does Fate our pleasure step on!
    So they still are quick and well
    Who should be, by rights, in hell.

  6. Chinese Netizen says:

    Apologies for the length, but interesting addition to Chris Maden’s comment above. This is the closing argument by a U.S. Attorney from a recent case where I live involving quite a lot of defendants in a large crime spree:

    Now, a conspiracy is a kind of criminal partnership—an agreement of two or more persons to commit one or more crimes. The crime of conspiracy is the agreement to do something unlawful; it does not matter whether the crime agreed upon was committed.

    For a conspiracy to have existed, it is not necessary that the conspirators made a formal agreement or that they agreed on every detail of the conspiracy. It is not enough, however, that they simply met, discussed matters of common interest, acted in similar ways, or perhaps helped one another. You must find that there was a plan to commit at least one of the crimes alleged in the indictment as an object of the conspiracy with all of you agreeing as to a particular crime which the conspirators agreed to commit.

    One becomes a member of a conspiracy by willfully participating in the unlawful plan with the intent to advance or further some object or purpose of the conspiracy, even though the person does not have full knowledge of all the details of the conspiracy. Furthermore, one who willfully joins an existing conspiracy is as responsible for it as the originators. On the other hand, one who has no knowledge of a conspiracy, but happens to act in a way which furthers some object or purpose of the conspiracy, does not thereby become a conspirator. Similarly, a person does not become a conspirator merely by associating with one or more persons who are conspirators, nor merely by knowing that a conspiracy exists.

    An overt act does not itself have to be unlawful. A lawful act may be an element of a conspiracy if it was done for the purpose of carrying out the conspiracy. The government is not required to prove that the defendant personally did one of the overt acts

    A conspiracy may continue for a long period of time and may include the performance of many transactions. It is not necessary that all members of the conspiracy join it at the same time, and
    one may become a member of a conspiracy without full knowledge of all of the details of the unlawful scheme or the names, identities, or locations of all of the other members.

    Even though a defendant did not directly conspire with all of the other defendants or other conspirators in the overall scheme, the defendant has, in effect, agreed to participate in the conspiracy if it is proved beyond a reasonable doubt that:

    (1) the defendant directly conspired with one or more conspirators to carry out at least one of the objects of the conspiracy;

    (2) the defendant knew or had reason to know that the other conspirators were involved with those with whom the defendant directly conspired; and

    (3) the defendant had reason to believe that whatever benefits the defendant might get from the conspiracy were probably dependent upon the success of the entire venture.

    It is no defense that a person’s participation in a conspiracy was minor or for a short period of time.

    Now, you have heard testimony about various events that took place over a number of years. Some of the people who may have been involved in these events are not on trial. The government is not required to prosecute all members of an alleged conspiracy in one proceeding or trial. Nor is the government required to prove the identity of all of the participants in an alleged conspiracy. An indictment may charge a defendant with a conspiracy involving people whose names are not known, as long as the government can prove that the defendant conspired with one or more persons who are identified.

  7. Din Gao says:

    @ Chinese Netizen in respect of the law on Conspiracy.
    That was an interesting summing up for an American court but what is important is the law as it stands in Hong Kong.

    Statute Law:
    Cap 200 159A.The offence of conspiracy
    (1)Subject to the following provisions of this Part, if a person agrees with any other person or persons that a course of conduct shall be pursued which, if the agreement is carried out in accordance with their intentions, either—
    (a)will necessarily amount to or involve the commission of any offence or offences by one or more of the parties to the agreement; or
    (b)would do so but for the existence of facts which render the commission of the offence or any of the offences impossible,
    he is guilty of conspiracy to commit the offence or offences in question.
    (2)Where liability for any offence may be incurred without knowledge on the part of the person committing it of any particular fact or circumstance necessary for the commission of the offence, a person shall nevertheless not be guilty of conspiracy to commit that offence by virtue of subsection (1) unless he and at least one other party to the agreement intend or know that that fact or circumstance shall or will exist at the time when the conduct constituting the offence is to take place.
    (3)In this section offence (罪行) means any offence triable in Hong Kong and includes murder notwithstanding that the murder in question would not be so triable if committed in accordance with the intentions of the parties to the agreement. (Amended E.R. 4 of 2017)

    159B.Exemptions from liability for conspiracy
    (1)A person shall not by virtue of section 159A be guilty of conspiracy to commit any offence if he is an intended victim of that offence.
    (2)A person shall not by virtue of section 159A be guilty of conspiracy to commit any offence or offences if the only other person or persons with whom he agrees are (both initially and at all times during the currency of the agreement) persons of any one or more of the following descriptions—
    (a)his spouse;
    (b)a person under the age of criminal responsibility; and
    (c)an intended victim of that offence or of each of those offences.
    (3)A person is under the age of criminal responsibility for the purposes of subsection (2)(b) so long as it is conclusively presumed, by virtue of section 3 of the Juvenile Offenders Ordinance (Cap. 226), that he cannot be guilty of any offence.

    Common Law:
    “An agreement of two or more to do an unlawful act, or to do a lawful act by unlawful means.”
    Hence the statute law clarification.

  8. Stanley Lieber says:

    @Chinese Netizen

    That’s the kind of twisted, evil logic the FBI relies upon to entrap hapless Muslims and would-be militia men into getting arrested for terrorist plots cooked up by the undercover FBI agents themselves just so the bastards can keep the fear meter at 11 and put a few points on the scoreboard.

  9. Mark Bradley says:

    “That’s the kind of twisted, evil logic the FBI relies upon to entrap hapless Muslims and would-be militia men into getting arrested for terrorist plots cooked up by the undercover FBI agents themselves just so the bastards can keep the fear meter at 11 and put a few points on the scoreboard.”

    Ultimately ALL law enforcement are complete sacks of shit even in the West. There isn’t much difference between them and the HKPF.

  10. Life is.... says:

    The Americans are keen on agent provacteurs. In years gone by they used to employ a Ghanain based supposedly in Chung King mansions to solicit (idiots) to bring heroin from Guangzhou. Such idiots would be shopped and sent down.for lengthy terms by HKs penal sentencing policy.

    Thing that always puzzled me was what it had to do with the yanks, and why the cooperation.

    Note, the incident(s) I am thinking of are long long past handover/reversion.

    Would such now not constitute the HK police and dept of “justice” “colluding with foreign forces”?

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