Published: 12:55, May 30, 2024
HK: 14 convicted in subversion trial related to illegal 'primary election'
By Stephy Zhang in Hong Kong
An armored prison van is seen as police officers stand guard outside the West Kowloon Law Courts Building, in Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong, May 30, 2024. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)

Fourteen people in Hong Kong were found guilty on Thursday of conspiring to commit subversion for their roles in an illegal “primary” of the legislative election in 2020;  two defendants were acquitted.

The remaining 31 of the 47 defendants in the national security case pleaded guilty before the trial started.

The verdict was handed down at West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court on Thursday morning.

The 47 defendants were arrested in 2021 and charged with the offense of subversion under the NSL for their involvement in an illegal “primary” of the Legislative Council election held in 2020

Those convicted include former lawmakers Leung Kwok-hung, Raymond Chan Chi-chuen, Lam Cheuk-ting and Helena Wong Pik-wan. They were remanded in custody, awaiting sentencing.

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The two who were acquitted are barrister Lawrence Lau Wai-chung and former district councilor Lee Yue-shun.

The trial has been adjourned and will resume on Thursday afternoon.

This was the first subversion trial under the National Security Law for Hong Kong (NSL); it began last year and lasted more than 100 days.

The 47 defendants were arrested in 2021 and charged with the offense of subversion under the NSL for their involvement in an illegal “primary” of the Legislative Council election held in 2020.

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Prosecutors said the defendants organized the “primary” with the aim of helping the opposition camp win a majority of the seats in the legislature, and then paralyzing the operation of the LegCo and the Hong Kong SAR government.

The LegCo election scheduled in 2020 was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Principal offenders of the offense of subversion can be sentenced to life imprisonment, according to Article 22 of the NSL.

stephyzhang@chinadailyhk.com