Hong Kong / China (11/3). The six defendants are accused of involvement with three other bomb attacks that targeted Caritas Medical Centre, Shenzhen Bay port and an MTR train.
One man was alleged to have kept 2,589 kg of explosive material in a commercial flat in the city’s Tai Kok Tsui area.
Six Hongkongers associated with a trio of bomb plots earlier this year intended to stage a fourth attack against police at a protest just three days ago, a court heard on Wednesday, while two opposition councillors were arrested for allegedly obstructing the investigation.
The defendants, who were charged at Sha Tin Court, allegedly conspired to injure officers with explosives during a Sunday protest in Tseung Kwan O.
Protesters had gathered in the area on Sunday night to pay tribute to the late Alex Chow Tsz-lok, who died after falling from a building during a protest last November.
Senior public prosecutor William Siu Kai-yip told the court the plan was to plant a bomb inside a mock shrine, then remotely set it off when police officers approached it.
But the defendants were arrested along with 11 others before the attack could be carried out, Siu told acting principal magistrate Daniel Tang Siu-hung.
The six defendants – Ho Cheuk-wai, 36; decoration worker Lee Ka-pan, 25; security guard Ng Tsz-lok, 27; programmer Cheung Ka-chun, 29; clerk Yeung Yi-sze, 28; and government contract worker Cheung Cheuk-ki, 24 – were jointly charged with conspiring to cause an explosion with intent to endanger life or property.
Siu said the accused were involved in three other bomb attacks in the city, targeting Caritas Medical Centre on January 27, the Shenzhen Bay port on January 28, and an MTR train bound for the Lo Wu border checkpoint on February 2.
An additional count of possession of anything with intent to destroy or damage property was laid against Lee, and jointly against Ng and Cheung Cheuk-ki.
The three were accused of intending to endanger life by damaging property with improvised explosive devices.
Court documents alleged that Lee had kept 2,589 kg of explosive ingredients in a commercial flat in Tai Kok Tsui. They included 624 kg of magnesium powder, 275 kg of sodium, 1,640 kg of ammonium nitrate, and 50 kg of potassium iodide.
Li Kwai-Wah, senior superintendent of Hong Kong’s Organized Crime & Triad Bureau, speaks at March 8 press conference where he said an ‘enormous quantity’ of chemicals and three homemade bombs had been seized during raids. Photo: Felix Wong
In another flat of the same building, Ng and Cheung Cheuk-ki allegedly possessed 14.52kg of explosive ingredients, namely 10.5kg of magnesium powder, two kilograms each of sulphur and nitrate, and 20g of gunpowder.
Police also seized three bottles of drain cleaner from Lee, and 56 electronic matches and three circuit boards from Ng and Cheung Cheuk-ki, according to the court filing.
Tang adjourned the case to June 26 in Eastern Court to allow time for police to conduct further investigations.
He remanded Lee, Ng, Yeung and Cheung Cheuk-ki in custody, after the prosecution objected to their releases.
Ho and Cheung Ka-chun, who are currently hospitalised, will be brought to court upon their discharge. Prosecutors did not reveal the reason the two are in hospital.
The maximum sentence for causing an explosion with intent to endanger life is life imprisonment.
The remaining 11 suspects were earlier released on bail without charge.
Meanwhile, Tai Po pro-democracy district councillors Herman Yiu Kwan-ho and Dalu Lin Kok-cheung were arrested by police on Wednesday afternoon for allegedly obstructing their investigation, fellow councillors said. The pair were released on HK$1,000 cash bail in the evening.
Yiu and Lin two also been taken to Tai Po police station then released in the early hours of Sunday as officers searched Kwong Fok Estate.
Police previously said some district councillors had refused to leave and demanded entry to the flat while the raid was being conducted.