Five students found guilty of rioting at CUHK

Five Chinese University students were on Friday convicted of rioting at the institution two years ago.

The District Court said the five, aged between 20 and 23, stayed with protesters who threw petrol bombs at police officers on November 11, 2019, with the only explanation being that they had wanted to encourage the protesters to commit acts of breaching the peace.

Judge Kathie Cheung said it was unreasonable for Lau Chun-yuk, the only defendant who had testified in court, to say that he was only trying to leave the scene when he was arrested.

“Although the court cannot ascertain [Lau’s] arrival time, the court is of the view that [Lau] could definitely have expected violent acts at No 2 bridge. If it was not his intention to participate and be involved, he should have left as soon as possible,” she said.

“Moreover, at the time, [Lau] had a respirator, fireproof gloves, shin guards, etc, on him. The court finds that the only irresistible inference was that [Lau] stayed at the rioting scene of his own will.”

The judge said the other four defendants, who were wearing similar outfits as other protesters, also chose to stay at the scene with the protesters.

“Their common purpose was no doubt to charge the police check-line and to obstruct the police from enforcing the law,” she said.

All five defendants were also found guilty of breaching the face mask ban.

Two of them – Foo Hoi-ching and Hui Yi-chuen – were convicted of possessing offensive weapons or instruments fit for unlawful purposes, including a metal hammer head and a spanner.

The court is expected to hand down sentences on October 19, with the defendants remanded in custody in the meantime.