Cardinal Zen, barrister Margaret Ng and 4 others deny charges over failure to register protester relief fund as society

Cardinal Joseph Zen, barrister Margaret Ng, singer-activist Denise Ho and three others have pleaded not guilty to charges over an alleged failure to register a defunct protester relief fund as a society in Hong Kong between 2019 and 2021.

(From left) Scholar Hui Po Keung, Cardinal Joseph Zen, barrister Margaret Ng, singer-activist Denise Ho at the West Kowloon Law Courts Building on May 24, 2022. Photo: Lea Mok / HKFP.

The six defendants linked to the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund appeared before Principal Magistrate Peter Law at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on Tuesday morning, after being issued summons by the National Security Department of the police for allegedly breaching Section 5 (1) of the Societies. Ordinance. They were said to have failed to apply for local society registration for the fund between July 16, 2019 and October 31, 2021. They all denied the charges.

The defendants included five former trustees of the fund which provided financial aid and legal support to protesters during the 2019 unrest. They were Zen, Ng, Denise Ho, cultural studies scholar Hui Po-keung and jailed ex-legislator Cyd Ho. The sixth defendant was activist Sze Ching-wee who was the fund’s secretary general before it ceased operations last October and had ties to the pro-democracy party the League of Social Democrats (LSD).

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