Hong Kong lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai to be sentenced in flag desecration case

Hong Kong lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai to be sentenced in flag desecration case

Hong Kong lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai will today discover whether he is found guilty of desecrating the Chinese and Hong Kong flags.

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Photo: In-Media

Hong Kong lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai will today discover whether he is found guilty of desecrating the Chinese and Hong Kong flags. Mr Cheng pleaded not guilty to the charges earlier this month.

Cheng was charged after upending a number of Chinese and Hong Kong replica flags in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong (Legco), last October. The lawmaker faces up to three years in prison if found guilty.

Despite the apparent absurdity of the charges, the case epitomises the ongoing struggle in Hong Kong between the pro-independence and pro-Beijing movements. Cheng upended the flags in protest after Beijing removed pro-independence lawmakers Sixtus “Baggio” Leung-Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching from Legco due to improper oath-taking.

Protests remain a common occurrence in Hong Kong; tensions have simmered since the “umbrella revolution” protests of 2014.

Whether Cheng will be found guilty depends on whether the replica flags are deemed to be of the requisite size to be considered under the law. Protests are likely if Cheng is found guilty today; he would be the third pro-independence lawmaker to be removed from Legco under questionable circumstances since last year’s elections.

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