Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - Page 6 News List

Top court clears three HK activists for final appeal

AP, HONG KONG

Pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, right, and Nathan Law, left, pose in front of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal yesterday.

Photo: AP

Hong Kong’s top court yesterday gave three young democracy activists, including Joshua Wong (黃之鋒), a last chance to appeal prison sentences related to their involvement in huge 2014 pro-democracy protests in the territory.

The Court of Final Appeal approved the request by Wong, Nathan Law (羅冠聰) and Alex Chow (周永康) to appeal the months-long prison terms they received for their roles in an unlawful assembly that sparked the protests.

“It’s really good news for us,” Wong told reporters after the hearing. “The three of us still have the possibility to be put inside prison again a few months later.”

The three were originally given community service or suspended sentences that let them avoid jail, but those were overturned after the Hong Kong secretary for justice requested a sentencing review.

Wong said he hopes the appeal can clarify the extent to which the court should take into account the motive of civil disobedience when sentencing protesters.

The three filed their appeal bid to the Court of Final Appeal after a lower court rejected their request. The top court approved their application after hearing arguments for about half an hour.

The judges also extended bail for Wong, 21, and Law, 24, who were released two weeks ago after serving about two months so they could make their appeal.

Wong faces the remainder of his six month sentence and Law eight months if their appeals fail.

Chow, who was given seven months in the case, was freed on bail for the appeal hearing, which the court scheduled for January next year. He had not requested bail earlier.

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