Hong Kong Occupy leaders found guilty for role in mass rallies

A Hong Kong court found leaders of the 2014 “Occupy” civil disobedience movement (above) guilty on Tuesday of public nuisance charges during the mass protests, in a landmark verdict that comes as the China-ruled city’s freedoms come under strain.

(Mkini) – Scores of supporters clapped in support of the nine defendants including a law professor, two lawmakers and former student activists, after the judge delivered his verdict following a trial that critics say highlights shrinking political freedoms in the former British colony.

Three of the defendants accused of playing a leading role in planning and mobilizing supporters during the 79-day street occupations in 2014 – Benny Tai, Chan Kin-man, and retired pastor Chu Yiu-ming – were found guilty of conspiracy to commit public nuisance.

Tai and Chan were also found guilty of incitement to commit public nuisance. They appeared calm after the verdict was delivered, and Chan bowed to supporters clapping for them outside the court. The trio had pleaded not guilty to all charges, each carrying a maximum seven years jail.

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