Edward Leung tells court Mong Kok clashes not planned

Hong Kong | Apr 17, 2018 17:04
Localist Edward Leung Tin-kei has told the High Court that his involvement in the Mong Kok unrest two years ago was not premeditated.
As he testified in court over riot-related charges, the former Hong Kong Indigenous spokesman said he decided to attend a gathering to defend unlicensed street hawkers after he was invited by other party members on the evening of the clashes.
The efforts by government officials to crack down on illegal vendors led to a stand-off and then deteriorated into violent clashes between protesters and the police during the 2016 Lunar New Year.
Leung said soon after he arrived at the scene, there was a minor traffic accident in the area and police moved in with warning signs for the public to clear the area. According to past experience of protests, he said, that would usually agitate the crowds.
He said another member of Hong Kong Indigenous, Ray Wong, had called on protesters to leave the area so that police could deal with the accident. He said he agreed with Wong's move, but nobody heeded the advice.
Leung, 26, also revealed in court that he had participated in various protests since he was 17, but said most of them had failed to bring about any real change. He said his past experience got him thinking about how he could get the government to listen to the public's views.
Leung is on trial with four others for their involvement in the Mong Kok unrest. He denies three counts of riot-related charges, but has pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer.
The hearing continues.-RTHK

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