World

Hong Kong 'Umbrella Movement' leader says he won't fight contempt charge

HONG KONG: Student leader Joshua Wong, who helped lead Hong Kong's months-long "Umbrella Movement" in 2014 demanding full democracy, said yesterday he would not fight a charge related to the protests in the spirit of civil disobedience.

The Hong Kong protests that Mr Wong and others helped drive represented one of the biggest populist challenges in decades to the leaders of China's Communist Party since the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement in Beijing.

Mr Wong was one of 20 protesters charged with contempt of court after refusing to obey a court order and leave a protest zone in the working-class district of Mong Kok.

"I choose to plead guilty in this case to show, as an organiser of civil disobedience, I am willing to bear legal responsibility," the 20-year-old said outside the High Court. "Although there's a chance I might be put in jail, I have no regrets."

In written statements to the court, Mr Wong and several respondents, including another student leader, Mr Lester Shum, "admitted liability", rather than explicitly pleading guilty, as is the case in a civil, rather than criminal, lawsuit.

Mr Wong's lawyer Lawrence Lok told judge Andrew Chan that Wong acted peacefully throughout the protests.

"This young man had a noble motive in doing what he did," Mr Lok said. - REUTERS

hong kongChinastudent