A Hong Kong student accused of possessing a firearm without a licence was charged on Thursday with an additional offence under the national security law.
Lui Sai-yu, a 24-year-old engineering student at Polytechnic University, appeared at West Kowloon Court over allegations he had been in possession of a pepper ball launcher, extendable baton and two knives for unlawful purposes.
He was further accused on Thursday of inciting others to commit secession between June 30 and September 24 last year, an offence under the Beijing-decreed security legislation.
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Lui was earlier charged with possession of firearms without a licence, possession of offensive weapons, and importing strategic commodities without a licence.
The prosecution told Chief Magistrate Victor So Wai-tak, one of a handful of jurists selected by Hong Kong’s leader to handle national security cases, that it was dropping the import charge against Lui.
The first-year student was arrested in September last year during a raid on his Fanling flat. He did not apply for bail on Thursday and the case was adjourned until May 4.
Previously in court, Lui’s lawyer, Kevin Tang Tsz-kai, accused police’s national security unit of coercing Lui into making a confession by threatening to prosecute his mother and girlfriend.
Tang said in September last year that Lui had remained silent when police first interviewed him, but admitted possessing weapons during a second interview conducted in the absence of his legal representatives. That change of heart was due to police coercion, according to the lawyer.
In response, the prosecutor said at the time that police had asked the defendant whether he needed a lawyer to accompany him when giving his witness statements to the force.
Police’s new national security unit was set up to enforce the national security legislation that Beijing imposed on the city on June 30.
This article National security law: Hong Kong student accused of weapons possession charged with secession offence first appeared on South China Morning Post