Hong Kong teens face murder charges over death of 70-year-old man during protest


Two teenagers have been charged with the murder of a 70-year-old cleaner who was hit on the head with a brick during a clash between Hong Kong anti-government protesters and government loyalist last year.

Student Chan Yin-ting, 16, and Kelvin Lau Tsz-lung, who is 17, were taken on Wednesday to Tuen Mun Court, where they also faced charges of rioting and wounding with intent.

The victim, Luo Chang-qingwas hurt when protesters clashed with local residents on Lung Wan Street outside SheungShui MTR station on November 13. Local media reported at the time that he had been filming a fight between the two sides on his mobile phone.

The fight was one of dozens that broke out between ideological opponents during the seven straight months of pro-democracy protests that upended the city.

Court documents said Chan and Lau carried out the killing, along with others, who remained unidentified. It was not mentioned in court, however, whether the duo were believed to have landed the fatal strike on Luo.

The case was adjourned to June 1 at Eastern Court, where prosecutors will apply to transfer the case to the High Court. Chan and Lau will be remanded in custody.

Dozens of people turned up to witness proceedings. Some raised their fists in support when the two defendants left the court.

While murder is only punishable by life imprisonment, the court can give a shorter term to a murder convict who was aged below 18 at the time of the offence.

Hong Kong’s protests were sparked by an attempt to allow extradition to China’s opaque justice system but soon morphed into a popular revolt against Beijing’s rule.

Millions of people took to the streets to protest for greater democratic rights and the demonstrations had often ended with violent clashes between protesters and police.

Fights often broke out between protesters and groups of government loyalists, with beatings and street brawls common.

More than 7,800 people have been arrested – nearly 40 per cent of them were students. (Source: CNA)