Nine convicted over Tsim Sha Tsui riot

The District Court on Saturday convicted nine people of taking part in a riot in Tsim Sha Tsui on the evening of August 11, 2019, while one defendant was acquitted.

The court heard that the defendants, the youngest of whom was 19, joined a riot with other people on a section of Nathan Road near Austin Road and Humphreys Avenue.

Prosecutors told the court that around 2,000 black-clad protesters assembled at the Park Lane Shopper’s Boulevard, occupied traffic lanes and blocked the exits of Tsim Sha Tsui police station.

Some protesters also dug up bricks, the court heard.

Delivering his verdict, Judge Douglas Yau rejected some of the defendants’ arguments that they didn’t have time to leave, saying the police had given repeated warnings.

He said that judging from what they were wearing, and the gear they carried, and the time and place of their arrest, the only reasonable inference was that they intended to take part in a riot.

As for the only defendant who was acquitted, the judge said the testimony of the police officer against him was unreliable.

He added that although gear that was frequently used by protesters was found in the defendant’s backpack, he wasn’t at the scene when the riot took place and therefore he couldn’t be seen as “encouraging or supporting acts that breach the peace.”