The defence lawyer for the first Hongkonger found guilty under the national security law has told the High Court that the only effect his client's stunt had on the general public was to make them applaud him in support.
Former waiter Tong Ying-kit, 24, was on Tuesday found guilty of terrorism and inciting secession for driving a motorbike into a group of police officers while flying a "Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our Times" flag.
A panel of three national security judges said the flag was capable of carrying the meaning of separating Hong Kong from China, and they were sure that Tong intended to incite others to commit secessionist acts.
But Tong's lawyer, Senior Counsel Clive Grossman, said his client was a "decent young man" and had merely been "poking fun" at the police when the incident took place on July 1 last year.
Grossman conceded during Thursday's mitigation hearing that Tong's behaviour had been stupid. But he said the crash was not intentional and Tong regretted injuring the police officers.
He said the officers struck by the bike weren't badly hurt, and the only person who suffered a broken bone was Tong, who damaged his leg.
Grossman said the case wasn't serious and Tong had only been riding around showing off a flag. He said nobody was incited to do anything in particular.
“There’s no evidence that anyone was affected other than clapping hands,” the lawyer said.
The senior counsel also urged the court to impose concurrent sentences for the two offences, saying he hoped they could be "melted into one".
Prosecutors, meanwhile, submitted what they said were relevant rulings from other jurisdictions, and they urged the court to consider mainland law in particular when sentencing Tong.
But the judges rejected this, saying they would follow the usual statutory interpretation of fixed term imprisonments under the national security law.
Tong is expected to be sentenced on Friday afternoon.
Tong Ying-kit only incited people to clap him: lawyer
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