Welcome to the Reuters.com BETA. Read our Editor's note on how we're helping professionals make smart decisions.
Read more
Sign In
June 23, 20212:40 AM PDTLast Updated a month ago
Asia Pacific
First person charged under Hong Kong's national security law pleads not guilty
Sara Cheng

2 minute read
Play video on original page
HONG KONG, June 23 (Reuters) - The first person charged under the national security law in Hong Kong pleaded not guilty as his trial began on Wednesday, almost a year after he was accused of driving his motorbike into officers at a rally while carrying a flag with a protest slogan.
The case of Tong Ying-kit is seen as a departure from Hong Kong's common law traditions, as he was denied bail and a jury, and a test of the government's claim that the slogan "Liberate Hong Kong! Revolution of our times" is secessionist.
Tong, 24, was arrested on July 1, 2020, hours after the enactment of the national security law, which punishes what China deems as subversion, secessionism, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.
Tong faces charges of terrorism and inciting secession, as well as an alternative charge of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm, which can lead to up to seven years in prison. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
1/3
A prison van arrives High Court on the first day of trial of Tong Ying-kit, the first person charged under a new national security law, in Hong Kong, China June 23, 2021. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Tong has been denied bail. Hong Kong's common law has traditionally allowed defendants to seek release unless prosecutors can show lawful grounds for their detention. Under the new law, the burden is now placed on the defendant to prove they will not break the law if released on bail.
On Tuesday, the Court of Appeal upheld a decision to deny Tong a trial by jury, citing a threat to the personal safety of jurors and their family members.
His trial will be held by a panel of three judges instead: Esther Toh, Anthea Pang and Wilson Chan.
Hong Kong's Judiciary describes trial by jury as one of the most important features of the city's legal system, a common law tradition designed to offer defendants additional protection against the possibility of authorities overreaching their power.
Article 46 of the security law - drafted by Beijing, where courts are controlled by the Communist Party and conviction rates are close to 100% - states three instances in which juries can be scrapped: protecting state secrets, cases involving foreign forces and protecting jurors' safety.
Writing by Marius Zaharia. Editing by Gerry Doyle
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
More from Reuters
Play video on original page

Read Next
Asia Pacific
Australia's Brisbane warned of prolonged COVID-19 lockdown as cases rise
6:04 PM PDT
Asia Pacific
Singapore banks report strong profit growth, loan losses decline
5:47 PM PDT
Asia Pacific
Thailand reports daily record of over 20,000 COVID-19 infections
5:46 PM PDT
Asia Pacific
Harris to push back on China's South China Sea claims during Asia trip
4:37 PM PDT

Sign up for our newsletter
Subscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox.
Asia Pacific
Asia Pacific · 3:15 PM PDT
U.S., Indonesia commit to South China Sea defense in 'strategic dialogue'
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Tuesday the launch of a "strategic dialogue" with Indonesia, and Washington said the two countries committed to working together on issues that include defending freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.
Asia Pacific
Taliban seek 'lion's share of power' in deadlocked peace talks -U.S. envoy
2:03 PM PDT
Asia Pacific
Car bomb hits near Kabul 'Green Zone'; six dead including attackers
12:49 PM PDT
Asia Pacific
U.S. says Afghanistan civil war one of many concerns
1:32 PM PDT
Asia Pacific
Australia's Brisbane warned of prolonged COVID-19 lockdown as cases rise
6:04 PM PDT
Latest
Home
Media
Videos
Pictures
Graphics
Browse
World
Business
Legal
Markets
Breakingviews
Technology
Investigations
Lifestyle
About Reuters
About Reuters
Careers
Reuters News Agency
Brand Attribution Guidelines
Reuters Leadership
Reuters Fact Check
Reuters Diversity Report
Stay Informed
Download the App
Newsletters
Information you can trust
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers.
Follow Us
Thomson Reuters Products
Westlaw
Build the strongest argument relying on authoritative content, attorney-editor expertise, and industry defining technology.
Onesource
The most comprehensive solution to manage all your complex and ever-expanding tax and compliance needs.
Checkpoint
The industry leader for online information for tax, accounting and finance professionals.
Refinitiv Products
Eikon
Information, analytics and exclusive news on financial markets - delivered in an intuitive desktop and mobile interface.
Refinitiv Data Platform
Access to real-time, reference, and non-real time data in the cloud to power your enterprise.
World-Check
Screen for heightened risk individual and entities globally to help uncover hidden risks in business relationships and human networks.
Advertise With Us
Advertising Guidelines
Cookies
Terms of Use
Privacy
Corrections
Site Feedback

All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.
© 2021 Reuters. All rights reserved