Localist leader Edward Leung arrives at the High Court. Photo: RTHK
Priscilla Ng reports
A prosecutor has accused localist leader Edward Leung of lying about the motives for his actions during the Mong Kok riots in 2016 and said his aim was only to resist the police.
Leung, who was a candidate for a Legco by-election at that time, had claimed earlier during his trial that he called for an election rally to gather his supporters and to form a buffer between the police and the public to protect people before clashes erupted.
The prosecution said Leung’s claim that he was organising an election rally was just “smoke and mirrors”. What Leung’s party colleague Ray Wong had been saying all night had nothing to do with any such rally, but was just to ask more people to come to or stay in Mong Kok, the lawyer said.
But Leung rejected this charge.
The prosecutor also played a video showing the minutes before a major clash between the police and protesters in which Wong is seen asking people twice to “get ready” to charge at the police.
When the lawyer asked Leung if he was aware they were going to charge at the police cordon, he said there was this possibility, but denied that he had planned this with Wong.
When the prosecutor asked why he didn’t leave or ask Wong to withdraw his call, Leung replied that it was difficult at that time because not only was he the rally organiser, but people from behind were pushing him and the people in front of him began to run forwards.
But the prosecutor said Leung was not telling the truth, and he was just trying to justify the use of violence.
Leung said he was only revealing what he had been thinking at the time. He said it was “meaningless” to charge at the police as fully-armed officers would eventually disperse them.
Leung denies rioting and inciting others to take part in a riot, but admits assaulting police.
Wong is currently wanted by the police after he jumped bail and reportedly travelled overseas.