On July 1, 2020, Tang Yingjie was arrested after riding a bicycle (with the “Liberation of Hong Kong” flag flying behind) into a group of police officers.
Three Hong Kong judges are expected to pass verdicts on Tang Yingjie’s trial on Tuesday, Tang Yingjie is the first person to bring charges under China’s national security laws that were imposed on the turbulent territory hours before his arrest.
The 24-year-old child has been detained and appeared in court earlier this month.
This is the timeline of events in this landmark case.
June 30, 2020
Shortly before midnight, Beijing imposed a national security law on Hong Kong to punish what China considers to be subversion, separatism, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces, with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
July 1, 2020
Thousands of people gathered in different areas of Hong Kong to protest against the implementation of the National Security Law.
Tong Yingjie, 24, was arrested in Wan Chai District on Hong Kong Island.
The police said that the boy, a former waiter, drove his motorcycle-a black flag with the slogan “Recover Hong Kong, Revolution of the Times” rolled from behind-crashed into three riot police officers and injured them.
July 2, 2020
The Hong Kong government stated that the slogan “Recover Hong Kong, Revolution of the Times”-a popular slogan in large-scale democratic protests in 2019-means “Hong Kong independence” or “subversion of state power.”
July 3, 2020
A few hours after the government’s statement, Tong was charged with terrorism and inciting to split the country’s security law.
July 6, 2020
The Hong Kong court quoted Article 42 of the National Security Law stating that “unless the judge has sufficient reason to believe that the criminal suspect or defendant will not continue to be released on bail, he shall not be released on bail”. Engaging in acts that endanger national security. “
August 21, 2020
Two judges of the Hong Kong High Court, Anderson Chow and Alex Lee, rejected Tang’s habeas corpus, which determined whether the detention was legal, and said he should seek a review of the order to refuse bail.
August 25, 2020
Hong Kong High Court Judge Alex Lee rejected Tang’s new bail application.
February 5, 2021
The Secretary of Justice Teresa Cheng issued an order, on the grounds of “personal safety of jurors and their families”, that the three judges appointed by the national security case, instead of the jury, will try Tong’s trial. She added that if a jury trial is allowed, there is a “real risk” that justice may be compromised.
Tong later applied for judicial review of the decision.
According to the common law tradition in Hong Kong, criminal cases are usually tried by juries-described by the judiciary as one of the most important features of its legal system.
May 20, 2021
Judge Alex Lee of the Court of First Instance of the High Court rejected Tong’s application for judicial review in a written judgment, stating that “a trial conducted by a panel of three judges without a jury should be for the personal safety of the jurors and their families. Perceived risks, or may damage due justice”.
June 22, 2021
Judges Jeremy Poon, Wally Yeung and Johnson Lam of the Court of Appeal upheld the decision to refuse the jury to try Tang.
June 23, 2021
After Tong’s trial began, he pleaded not guilty to all charges, including a new, alternative, dangerous driving charge that caused serious bodily harm, which could result in up to 7 years in prison.
July 20, 2021
Tang’s trial ended after several weeks of debate, mainly focusing on the meaning of the slogan on his banner. Tong did not provide evidence.
July 27, 2021
Judges Esther Toh, Anthea Pang and Wilson Chan are expected to deliver their verdicts at 3 pm (07:00 GMT).
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