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Judge postpones sentencing of Hong Kong democracy activist

Lester Shum, Joshua Wong, Alex Chow Photo: AP. Lester Shum, Joshua Wong, Alex Chow

December 07, 2017 03:23 AM

HONG KONG (AP) — A judge put off sentencing Thursday for young Hong Kong's democracy leader Joshua Wong in a contempt case stemming from 2014 protests in the semiautonomous Chinese city.

The 21-year-old Wong, who was out on bail while he appeals a separate prison sentence, was among a group of 16 activists set to learn their punishments following their convictions on charges of criminal contempt of court.

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But a High Court judge adjourned the case to an unspecified date to await further submissions from defense lawyers.

Hong Kong law sets no maximum penalty for contempt, with sentences usually ranging by case law and legal precedents.

Wong and the others were convicted months earlier for failing to comply with a court order to clear out of a protest camp on a main road during the 79-day "Umbrella Movement" protests against Beijing's restrictions on elections for Hong Kong's top leader. Wong and some others had pleaded guilty.

Wong rose to global fame, including a starring role in a Netflix documentary, for leading anti-China protests in the city when he was still a teen.

In a separate case, he and two other activists had been given prison sentences ranging from six to eight months for their roles in an unlawful assembly that sparked the 2014 protests. They originally got community service or suspended sentences but those were upgraded after the justice secretary asked for a sentencing review, a move that raised fears the city's independent judiciary was being undermined.

Wong was bailed when he received permission to appeal, which will be heard in January.


Credits

By KELVIN CHAN

(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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