Two men were charged with rioting offenses yesterday at the Fanling Law Court for their alleged involvement in the sustained assault on protesters and commuters alike at the Yuen Long MTR station last month by a mob of white-shirted pro-Beijing thugs.
The suspects, 48-year-old Lam Koon Leung and 43-year-old Lam Kai Ming, did not enter pleas. Presiding Judge So Man Lung said the extent of the attacks and the weapons used indicated a high level of premeditation, and refused to grant bail to the two defendants, HK01 reports. The trial was postponed until Oct. 25 to allow more time for police to investigate.
The prosecution cited video evidence in accusing the two defendants of assaulting passengers inside a train carriage for around 20 seconds, Ming Pao reports. (The video below contains scenes of assaults inside an MTR train starting at about the 22-minute mark.)
On July 21, after a day of major protests on Hong Kong Island, protesters returning home to the New Territories town of Yuen Long found themselves confronted in the station by a dozens of belligerent white-shirted men armed with bamboo sticks and other weapons. The men launched into a brutal attack on the protesters — as well as journalists, a lawmaker, and terrified commuters — ultimately hospitalizing at least 45.
So far, 30 people have been arrested in the wake of the attack, some with links to organized crime, and four suspects have been charged. The incident drew widespread condemnation of the police force, who took nearly 40 minutes to respond to the onslaught and were later seen in videos from the night failing to take action against armed men in the vicinity of the station believed to have taken part in the assaults.
The other two suspects charged for the Yuen Long attacks, Wong Chi Wing and Wong Ying Kit were brought to court on August 23rd and released on HK$30,000 bail, Stand News reports. Their case was postponed to October 25th as well.