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Monday, April 10, 2017, 22:06

Hong Kong: Radical lawmaker likely to face charge over flag-defiling


Hong Kong: Radical lawmaker likely to face charge over flag-defiling
In this on October 26, 2016 photo, Civic Passion lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai (C) is surrounded by security, after Cheng shouted while holding up the Legislative Council code of practice book in the main chamber of the Legislative Council in Hong Kong. (Anthony Wallace / AFP)

HONG KONG - Localist lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai is expected to be charged with desecrating the national and regional flags following an incident during a Legislative Council meeting in October last year.

Legislators should be responsible for their behavior

Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, President, Legislative Council

It was alleged that Cheng, from Civic Passion, had flipped several national and regional flags upside down.

The flags were originally placed on desks inside the LegCo chamber during an Oct 19 meeting. Cheng pulled the stunt again when the flags were put back in place.

LegCo has subsequently formed an investigation committee to look into the issue after Cheng’s behavior incited concern and condemnation from other lawmakers.

READ MORE: Motion moved to censure radical lawmaker

Cheng claimed his behavior and words were protected under the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance.

However, LegCo President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen said legislators should be responsible for their behavior and only speech was protected by the ordinance. Leung said the legislature would assist a police investigation.

According to National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance and Regional Flag and Regional Emblem Ordinance, any person who desecrates the national and regional flag and emblem by publicly and willfully burning, mutilating, scrawling on, defiling or trampling on them commits an offense, and is liable to a fine and imprisonment for three years.

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