7th December 2023 – (Hong Kong) Marilyn Tang, the sister-in-law of incarcerated veteran activist Lee Cheuk-yan, former Secretary-General of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions and former chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, is facing charges of obstructing justice related to the seizure of evidence in a national security case. Tang has been accused of twice removing evidence related to a case involving “collusion with foreign or external forces to endanger national security” before a search warrant was executed by law enforcement authorities. The evidence included computers and phones. The case was brought before the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts today (7th), where Tang pleaded guilty. The presiding judge noted that the actions of the defendant were deliberate and premeditated, leading to inevitable imprisonment. The judge ordered Tang to remain in custody until her sentencing on 21st December, with a background report to be prepared in the meantime.
Marilyn Tang, aged 63, claimed to be unemployed. The defence argued that Tang had fully cooperated with law enforcement during the investigation and had not intentionally destroyed evidence. They contended that her actions were impulsive and foolish, without considering the consequences. The defence further pointed out that law enforcement authorities were able to successfully access the computer and phone contents afterwards, and that no incriminating evidence was found. Essentially, they argued that the defendant’s actions did not have a substantial impact. While acknowledging the severity of the charges and the need for imprisonment, the defence requested the court to consider the defendant’s background and remorse and to adopt a lower starting point for sentencing.
The charges against Tang involved acts committed on 9th March, 2023, in Hong Kong, with the intention of obstructing justice by engaging in a series of acts that had an obstructive tendency. These acts included entering a unit at Mei Foo Sun Chuen which was the residence of Tang, before a search warrant was executed by the Hong Kong Police Force. The defendant removed evidence related to the investigation of Tang, thereby preventing the retrieval and/or interfering with the evidence in the case.