Home » Hong Kong activist granted leave to appeal sedition convictions to top court

Hong Kong activist granted leave to appeal sedition convictions to top court

by Derek Andrews
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Hong Kong’s Court docket of Enchantment granted activist Tam Tak-chi go away to enchantment his sedition convictions to the Court docket of Closing Enchantment underneath section 32(2) of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal Ordinance on Wednesday. Part 32(2) states that go away to enchantment will solely be granted if the case entails an essential level of regulation or results in substantial injustice.

In granting Tam go away to enchantment, the court docket held that it’s within the public curiosity for the Court docket of Closing Enchantment to make clear whether or not the now-repealed sedition offenses underneath sections 9 and 10 of the Crimes Ordinance constituted indictable offenses. This additionally amounted to essential factors of regulation because the impugned provisions function predecessors of the brand new sedition offenses underneath the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance. As well as, the court docket has to listen to different circumstances involving the impugned provisions.

Tam was the primary particular person to face full trial for sedition since Hong Kong’s 1997 Handover from British to Chinese language rule. He was sentenced by the District Court docket on April 20, 2022 to 40 months in jail. He was discovered guilty of 11 prices, together with uttering seditious phrases, holding or conniving to an unauthorized meeting and public dysfunction. Tam was additionally fined HK$5,000.

The Court docket of Enchantment subsequently upheld Tam’s sedition convictions on March 7 and refused to grant him go away to enchantment his convictions. The court docket discovered that it’s not disproportionate to convict a defendant who lacked intention to incite violence. The court docket additionally discovered that the prosecution just isn’t required to show that Tam’s speech or actions led to violence and that sociopolitical elements needs to be thought-about in assessing whether or not Tam had the intention to incite violence. As well as, the court docket said that sedition offenses intention to guard nationwide safety and public order, since “Safeguarding nationwide safety and preserving public order is indispensable to the steadiness, prosperity and growth of society.”

Tam can be one in every of 31 pro-democracy activists who pleadedguilty to conspiring to commit subversion underneath Article 22(3) of the China-imposed National Security Law over his position in subverting state energy to realize a controlling majority within the 2020 Legislative Council election and pressure then-Chief Govt Carrie Lam to resign underneath Article 52 of the Basic Law. The nationwide safety trial of the 31 activists, together with 16 different activists who denied the fees, commenced within the Excessive Court docket on February 6, 2023. Tam’s lawyer Pauline Leung argued in Monday’s mitigation proceedings that Tam’s sentence needs to be decreased by no less than 20 months since Tam served a 40-month sentence for his sedition offenses.

Source / Picture: jurist.org

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