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WTO Ministerial Conference of 2005
Nations participating 148
Events --
Opening ceremony 13 December 2005
Closing ceremony 18 December 2005
Officially opened by Hong Kong SAR
Conference venue HKCEC, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Number of protesters 10,000
Number of NGOs 12
Budget HK$ 250 million
Website The Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference

19 December 2005

Police have charged 14 men involved in the Wan Chai protests for unlawful assembly. They appeared at Kwun Tong Magistracy at 8pm on that day. (Throughout the trial, they could not afford accommodation in a hotel, and so were offered refuge in a church, the location of which remained obscure for privacy reasons.)

They include 11 Koreans, aged 31 to 46, a 29-year-old

Police have charged 14 men involved in the Wan Chai protests for unlawful assembly. They appeared at Kwun Tong Magistracy at 8pm on that day. (Throughout the trial, they could not afford accommodation in a hotel, and so were offered refuge in a church, the location of which remained obscure for privacy reasons.)

They include 11 Koreans, aged 31 to 46, a 29-year-old Japanese, a 22-year-old Taiwanese and a 41-year-old Chinese mainlander. They were among the 1,000 people arrested in connection with the violent protests on 17 December.

Following the release of 188 people the day before, Police this afternoon released 839 Korean men and 105 people of assorted nationality.

Donald Tsang, since the political reform bills were voted down in the Legislative Council.

2006

On 9 January 2006, the 11 Korean

On 9 January 2006, the 11 Korean protesters previously arrested, along with 300 other people including 3 Korean National Assembly members, protested to demand their immediate release.[12]

On 11 January 2006, charges on 11 protesters were dropped. The Korean protesters Park In Hwan (朴仁煥) and Yun Il Kwon (尹一權) are still being charged with unlawful assembly while Yang Kyung Kyu (梁暻圭) had his charged changed to unauthorized assembly. They pleaded not guilty and were bailed for HK$30000 each.[13][14][15][16]

On 13 January 2006, the 11 charged Koreans fled back to Korea. They apologized to businesses in Wan Chai and Causeway Bay for the disruptions during the conference. A few Hong Kongers went to the airport to farewell them.[17][18]

On 6 February 2006, in the pretrial review, the prosecutors did not prepare adequately. They changed the evidence at the last minute from police videotapes to television footage. As a result, another pretrial review was held on 17 February.[19]

On 7 February 2006, the police reported that they fired 6 beanbags, 34 cans of teargas and 738 cans of pepper spray. 518 police members used sticks to beat up the protesters. They admitted they arrested too many people and did not employ enough interpreters. Of the 910 people arrested, only 202 were allowed to meet with a lawyer.[20]

On 15 February 2006, Yang Kyung Kyu had the charge against him dropped because of insufficient evidence.[21]

On 2 March 2006, the trial began after pretrial reviews on 6 and 17 February, and lasted for almost a month. The magistrate was Andrew Ma (馬漢璋).[22] The evidence, as changed days ago, was a footage from Cable TV. The prosecution called between 10 and 23 witnesses.[citation needed] The accused said the government was trying to score political points by charging them. They and 30 other people protested outside the courthouse.[23][24] Park and Yun were extremely upset about John Tsang, who claimed they were not really farmers; but the duo insisted otherwise. [25] Yang was planning to come to HK with Park and Yun to support them but stayed in Korea to participate in a strike.[26]

On 3 March 2006, the police admitted that because they took a long time to contain the crowd, the real protesters may have left the scene before all the people there were contained. Therefore, the police may have arrested the wrong people.[27]

On 22 March 2006, the magistrate ruled that there's no case against Park. He was released immediately.[citation needed] A prosecution witness said that Yun had "a protruding jaw, relatively thick eyebrows and small eyes". The defence pointed out that Yun looked nothing like that. The magistrate agreed, adding that Yun was "young and handsome".[citation needed]

The defence also noted that the witnesses had never mentioned Yun in the four statements they made, and questioned how they identified him 18 days after the alleged incident.[citation needed] The defence chose not to defend or call witnesses. The verdict was delivered on 30 March.[28][29]

On 30 March 2006, the charge against Yun was dropped. The magistrate pointed out that the police did not employ Korean actors when carrying out the identity parade. They did not provide evidence showing that Yun was actually at the scene. Moreover, their testimony was called questionable since they rarely deal with foreign suspects.[30] Outside the courthouse, Yun thanked Hong Kong people for their continued support.[citation needed] Elizabeth Tang, chairperson of HKPAWTO, welcomed the decision and criticized the police for abusing power and wasting money.[31] Joseph Cardinal Zen, then bishop of Hong Kong, blasted the police for ignoring human rights and disregarding the activists' needs.[32] Yet, Cardinal Zen was blamed by the public for his inappropriate and irresponsible comments.[citation needed]

Additional links: [33][34][35][36]