Eight ex-Shenzhen detainees appear in court

Eight Hongkongers who were detained by mainland authorities for illegally crossing into mainland waters on a speedboat last year have been remanded back in custody after a brief appearance at the District Court.

Liu Tsz-man, Cheng Tsz-ho, Cheung Chun-fu, Cheung Ming-yu, Yim Man-him, Wong Wai-yin, Li Tsz-yin and Kok Tsz-lun are charged with one count of perverting the course of justice, on top of other protest-related offences to be dealt with in separate court cases.

They are accused of aiding themselves and four others, including national security suspect Andy Li, to flee Hong Kong, and of obstructing a police investigation between December 2019 and August 2020.

The eight were among 12 people who were intercepted by the Guangdong coastguard on August 23, 2020 during an alleged bid to flee to Taiwan.

Judge Amanda Woodcock accepted requests by both the prosecution and the defence to adjourn the hearing to October 26.

Cheung Chun-fu’s lawyer indicated his client’s intention to plead guilty.

Yim, meanwhile, applied for bail, but the judge rejected his request. The others did not make bail applications.

Earlier, a ninth defendant in the case, 17-year-old Hoang Lam-phuc was sent to a training centre after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice, as well as attempted arson and possessing items with intent to damage property during a protest outside Mong Kong Police Station in 2019.

Two of the 12 Hongkongers, Quinn Moon and Tang Kai-yin, are still behind bars on the mainland after being found guilty of organising the group’s illegal border crossing.