The prosecution had spent a lot of the 15-day trial analyzing the which means of the slogan, counting on the testimony of Lau Chi-pang, a historical past professor at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, that the which means of the Chinese phrases for “liberate” and “revolution” had remained fixed for greater than 1,000 years.
The dialogue lined a variety of historical past, from the traditional Shang and Zhou dynasties to the Cultural Revolution and Malcolm X. Professor Lau testified that the slogan, which was coined in 2016 by Edward Leung, a now-imprisoned pro-independence activist, referred to as for acts of violence to finish China’s management of Hong Kong.
Mr. Tong’s attorneys had argued that the phrase, extensively used in the course of the protests that convulsed town in 2019, was not essentially a name for independence.
“Just as if somebody says let’s go fight for our rights, that doesn’t necessarily mean get out a gun and start shooting people,” mentioned Clive Grossman, Mr. Tong’s lead protection lawyer. Two protection witnesses, Eliza Lee, a professor of politics on the University of Hong Kong, and Frances Lee, a professor in the journalism faculty on the Chinese University of Hong Kong, testified that the phrase had carried a wide range of meanings in current years.
Anthony Chau, the lead prosecutor, had additionally argued that Mr. Tong’s driving had proven “utter disregard for human life” and prompted “serious violence against police” when, after driving previous officers who had fashioned three strains to cease him, he crashed into officers who had rushed to type a fourth checkpoint.
Mr. Grossman acknowledged that Mr. Tong’s driving was harmful and that he ought to have stopped when ordered to take action by officers, however he mentioned that didn’t quantity to terrorism. He argued that Mr. Tong had averted law enforcement officials on the earlier checkpoints, and that he had braked on the fourth however may need been distracted when at the very least one officer threw a defend.