First trial under Hong Kong’s anti-terrorism act begins

First trial under Hong Kong’s anti-terrorism act begins
First trial under Hong Kong’s anti-terrorism act begins

Hello and welcome to the details of First trial under Hong Kong’s anti-terrorism act begins and now with the details

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - A man walks through the entrance to the High Court in Hong Kong on February 19, 2024. — AFP pic

HONG KONG, Feb 19 — Hong Kong’s first trial ever to invoke the city’s anti-terrorism act started today, with 14 people charged over an alleged plot to carry out explosions and murder police officers in huge pro-democracy protests in 2019.

Members of the radical protest group known as “Dragon Slayers” were rounded up after a long investigation into an alleged bomb plot that was to be put into action during an International Human Rights Day rally on December 10, 2019.

At the time, Hong Kong had been upended for months by huge and at times violent protests for greater autonomy from Beijing’s rule.

Today, prosecutor Edward Lau accused the group of planning to place two bombs along the marching route of the rally to kill police officers.


The “Dragon Slayers” would ransack shops to attract authorities while then-18-year-old member David Su would push officers in closer proximity to the bombs, the prosecution said.

“The group planned to take the police guns for their own use after the officers were killed,” Lau said.

Prosecutors have charged them under the anti-terrorism act, which the city first enacted in 2002 after a series of UN Security Council resolutions made in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.


No one had been charged under the law until this case.

Ten defendants are facing two charges that can lead to life in prison — “bombing of prescribed objects” under the anti-terrorism act and “conspiracy to murder police officers” under Hong Kong’s criminal law.

Among the 10, one of them also faces an extra anti-terrorism charge of funding the acts, while a woman brought into the case last year is also accused of that. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in jail.

Eight of the defendants are also charged with various offences relating to possession and manufacturing of explosives, firearms and ammunition, some of which carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Other than the woman admitted late in the trial, all of the accused have been kept behind bars for more than 1,000 days.

After the protests were quashed, Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law in mid-2020 to punish offences of subversion, secession, collusion and terrorism with sentences of up to life imprisonment.

By the end of 2023, more than 11,200 people were arrested and nearly 3,000 charged over their participation in the 2019 protests.

The Hong Kong government announced last month its plan to create another national security law to cover more offences, including treason and espionage. — AFP

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