7 individuals pleads not guilty in alleged bomb plot against police

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22nd April 2024 – (Hong Kong) Seven individuals have been charged under Hong Kong’s stringent anti-terrorism laws, vehemently denying accusations related to an alleged scheme to bomb strategic locations and assassinate police officers. The charges come five years after the purported conspiracy was unearthed by authorities.

The trial, which began on Monday at the High Court, saw a nine-member jury sworn in to deliberate over the accusations against six men and one woman over a projected duration of 60 days. The defendants are being prosecuted under the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance.

The male defendants—Lai Chun-pong, Cheung Chun-fu, Cheung Ming-yu, Christian Lee Ka-tin, Yim Man-him, and Justin Hui Cham-wing—have collectively pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring to bomb prescribed objects. According to the indictment, they are accused of collaborating with at least seven others to “unlawfully and intentionally deliver, place, or detonate two explosive devices” with the intent to cause death or serious injury.

Lau Pui-ying, the sole female defendant, has denied a charge of conspiring to provide or collect property to commit terrorist acts. Furthermore, the court acknowledged a not guilty plea from the six men regarding additional charges of conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life or cause significant injury to property, which are considered alternative charges to the main terrorism offence.

Additionally, Christian Lee is facing a separate charge of possessing arms and ammunition with intent to endanger life. He is alleged to have been in possession of a pistol, a magazine, and 14 live rounds during the period of the offences, which were reported to have occurred between 1st August and 9th December, 2019.

Mrs Justice Judianna Barnes, presiding over the trial, issued a stern warning to the jury about the confidentiality and integrity of the deliberation process. She emphasised the importance of not discussing the case outside the jury panel and to be vigilant of any external attempts to influence their decision-making, instructing them to report any such attempts immediately.