Ex-HKU stu­dent leader found guilty

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By SHADOW LI in Hong Kong stushadow@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

The former leader of the Uni­ver­sity of Hong Kong Stu­dents’ Union Billy Fung Jin­gen on Thurs­day was con­victed of dis­or­derly con­duct in a pub­lic place for be­sieg­ing the uni­ver­sity’s coun­cil mem­bers in Jan­uary last year.

Ac­cord­ing to the Pub­lic Or­der Or­di­nance, any­one who be­haves in a dis­or­derly man­ner in a pub­lic place is li­able to max­i­mum im­pris­on­ment of 12 months and a fine of HK$5,000.

Sen­tenc­ing was ad­journed to Sept 21 but pre­sid­ing Mag­is­trate Ko Wai-hung warned, af­ter call­ing for ev­i­dence in mit­i­ga­tion, that there was likely to be a jail sen­tence.

Hand­ing down the rul­ing in West Kowloon Mag­is­trates’ Court, Ko said it was ob­vi­ous Fung was call­ing for protesters around Arthur Li Kwok-che­ung to hem the coun­cil chair­man in when he shouted twice: “Don’t let him go! Don’t let Arthur Li go! Kill him! Kill him!”

Fung was ac­quit­ted on an­other charge of crim­i­nal in­tim­i­da­tion as the mag­is­trate said the pros­e­cu­tion was un­able to prove that what Fung said was meant for Li di­rectly, as Fung was speak­ing in the third per­son.

But the mag­is­trate said the con­duct was ob­vi­ously caus­ing dis­or­der or with in­tent to pro­voke others to breach the peace. This went be­yond the free­dom of speech and Fung’s con­sti­tu­tional rights.

Thus, Ko con­cluded Fung’s con­duct was il­le­gal.

Li, in an ear­lier hear­ing, tes­ti­fied that he had feared for his life when sur­rounded by ag­i­tated protesters. Ko be­lieved Li had ev­ery rea­son to feel that way and found him to be a re­li­able wit­ness.

Ear­lier, the 23-year-old Fung pleaded guilty to two dif­fer­ent charges of crim­i­nal dam­age and at­tempted forcible en­try. His co-de­fen­dant, Col­man Li Fung-kei, 21, was found guilty of re­sist­ing and ob­struct­ing pub­lic of­fi­cers in per­for­mance of pub­lic duty.

The court heard that Fung and Col­man Li led about 80 stu­dents to en­cir­cle the coun­cil mem­bers who were leav­ing af­ter a coun­cil meet­ing. The hours-long chaos led to sev­eral coun­cil mem­bers be­ing taken away by am­bu­lance.

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