Hong Kong couple acquitted of rioting charges

25 July, 2020 12:00 AM printer

HONG KONG: A Hong Kong couple were found not guilty of rioting during last year’s pro-democracy protests on Friday in a ruling that could see hundreds of others avoid jail time, reports AFP. 

More than 9,000 people were arrested during months of massive and sometimes violent demonstrations in the financial hub, initially sparked by a now-abandoned plan to allow extraditions to the Chinese mainland.

Henry Tong and Elaine To were charged with rioting and faced up to seven years in prison after they were detained by police last July.

But the district court found there was no evidence to prove the pair were participating in that day’s protest.

Presiding Judge Anthony Kwok said it was unreasonable to assume the defendants had joined the demonstration just because they were wearing dark outfits similar to those sported by the protesters.

“As for black clothing, that’s the day-to-day outfit of many residents,” he said.