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Friday, October 7, 2016, 18:00

'Occupy Central': Appeal court bins 6-month time limit


'Occupy Central': Appeal court bins 6-month time limit
In this Sept 28, 2015 photo, protesters hold yellow umbrellas to memorize the first anniversary of "occupy central" movement at Admiralty, Hong Kong. (China Daily / Parker Zheng)

HONG KONG – The Court of Appeal (CA), in dismissing appeals from “Occupy Central” protesters, said on Friday that a six-month time limit for prosecution only applies to minor charges.

The “Occupy Central” protesters challenged the government’s decision to hold them criminal contempt of court for disobeying a High Court injunction order to clear the mass occupation.

The higher court handed down judgment on an earlier rejection of appeal forwarded by 30 “Occupy Central” protesters, including student activists who led the mass occupation, Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Lester Shum Ngo-fai.

The higher court, in its written judgment, said that contempt of court is not a petty crime, while justice and courts’ authority will be influenced if serious crimes are subjected to time limits for prosecution.

Total 37 protesters were originally charged with obstructing bailiffs in executing an injunction order to clear the Mong Kok occupied area in November, 2014. The charge was later revised to criminal contempt of court. But the protesters applied to have the case dropped after the Department of Justice failed to submit due papers within the required time of six months.

The High Court had earlier rejected the protesters’ bid to revoke the lawsuit. Thirty of the protesters appealed, which failed again at the Court of Appeal.

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