UPDATE: 3 HK ex-lawmakers arrested, charged and set to appear in court: police
Published: Nov 18, 2020 02:32 PM

Hong Kong Photo: VCG

Three Hong Kong former lawmakers - Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, Ted Hui Chi-fung and Raymond Chan Chi-chuen - who were arrested by local police on Wednesday morning, have been charged and will appear in court on Thursday, according to the  statement the Hong Kong police sent to the Global Times on Wednesday.

Hong Kong media reported that Eddie Chu was arrested on suspicion of violating China's national security law for Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Two other former opposition lawmakers - Ted Hui Chi-fung and Raymond Chan Chi-chuen - were arrested by local police for spilling odorous liquid during a LegCo meeting.

A mainland expert said that the three are likely to have violated the national security law for Hong Kong for colluding with foreign powers.

The three will appear in West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts on Thursday afternoon, said the police.

In a statement sent to the Global Times on Wednesday, Hong Kong police said that three men, aged from 38 to 48, were arrested and put under investigation for suspected offenses of "contempt" under the LegCo Ordinance and "using or attempting to use harmful substances with intent to cause physical or mental injury or irritation to others" under the Hong Kong law.

Police said they received reports from the LegCo Secretariat in the morning of May 28, and in the morning and the afternoon of June 4, claiming that a foul-smelling liquid had been dropped or thrown in the direction of the chairman's podium during a LegCo meeting. The meeting was disrupted due to the incident. 

The police noted that two people reported feeling unwell in the May 28 incident.

Li Xiaobing, an expert on Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan affairs from Nankai University in Tianjin, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the three are likely to have violated the national security law for Hong Kong.

The ex-lawmakers expressed their rigid anti-government stance in wild and outrageous ways, Li said. 

They have allegedly colluded with foreign powers to create riots in Hong Kong and make chaos in LegCo, which harmed China's national security, Li noted.

On November 1, seven Hong Kong politicians, including chairman of the Hong Kong opposition group Labour Party Raymond Chan, and Eddie Chu, were arrested for contempt and interference with LegCo members.

Experts noted that the arrests are a positive sign that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is cleaning up the long-existing mess in the LegCo and eliminating the ill-intentioned political performances. 

Eddie Chu was disqualified in 2018 from running in a rural representative election due to his pro-secession stance.

Raymond Chan and Eddie Chu opted not to continue in the extended LegCo from the end of September.

Ex-lawmaker Ted Hui was suspended in April 2018 after he snatched a local security bureau executive officer's phone and took it to a toilet.

On August 26, Ted Hui was arrested by Hong Kong police on suspicion of participating in riots in Yuen Long in 2019.

Qiao Xiaoyang, former chairman of the Law Committee under the National People's Congress, said on Tuesday at a legal summit celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Hong Kong Basic Law that the anti-extradition bill riots since June 2019 had escalated, crossed the bottom line of "one country, two systems," and seriously endangered China's national security.

He said that the Chinese central government acted only because "it could not bear it any longer, otherwise it would have made a historic mistake." He noted that the Chinese central government bears the responsibility of upholding the principle of "one country, two systems" and the Hong Kong Basic Law, as well as maintaining the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.

Wednesday's arrests followed China's top legislature's latest decision to disqualify four HKSAR LegCo members.

According to a decision made by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) on November 11, Hong Kong LegCo members will be disqualified from office when they are determined by law to have failed to meet the legal requirements of upholding the HKSAR Basic Law and honoring the pledge of allegiance to the HKSAR.

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