Hong Kong students fight for a cause in court: a dramatic standoff

Photo courtesy of HKFP

AND former student leader involved in Protests in Hong Kong 2019 faced with dramatic confrontation in the courtroom with the judge as she tried to make political statements during it riot trial.

Althea Suen’s impassioned plea was repeatedly interrupted, leading to a tense standoff at the West Kowloon Courthouse, Hong Kong.

Suen, a former head of the University of Hong Kong Students’ Union, was involved in the attack on the Legislative Council (LegCo) on July 1, 2019, a major event during the unrest. Despite pleading guilty to rioting last May, she used her relief to express her political beliefs, prompting Judge Li to intervene repeatedly, banning political statements in court.

Suena’s attempt to justify her actions and express her views on democracy and freedom led to a tense discussion with the judge, who repeatedly warned her not to use the court as a platform for political opinions. Despite the interruptions, Suen remained persistent in conveying her beliefs, eventually agreeing to skip parts of her speech to comply with the judge’s instructions.

Suen appeared in court along with five other defendants, including Wong Ka-ho and Ma Kai-chung, who was acquitted of sedition but found guilty of entering or remaining in the LegCo chamber. Their lawyer argued that their actions were non-violent and that they are usually fined, given their role as journalists, HKFP reported.

Defendants found guilty of entering or remaining in the LegCo chamber face a fine of 2,000 Hong Kong dollars (about 9,000 baht) and potential jail time. The court is scheduled to hear statements from another group of defendants, including former activist Ventus Lau and actor Gregory Wong, and sentencing for all defendants is scheduled for March 16.

In related news, Lionel Messi’s failure to grace the pitch in Hong Kong left crowds of fans disheartened, but the football icon has hinted at a potential return, this time on the Tokyo turf. The star’s absence during the much-anticipated match at the Hong Kong Stadium not only disappointed fans but also caused a publicity crisis for his Major League Soccer team and the event’s local organizers.

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