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News :: International
Hong Kong, Anti-WTO.. "EPILOG"
11 Jan 2006
A FIRST SMALL VICTORY(?) Just a short while ago the S. Korean semi-official news agency reported that all the remaining prisoners from the anti-WTO protests can leave HK. But three Koreans will face trial soon...
Three S. Koreans face trial in Hong Kong after 8 released

HONG KONG, Jan. 11 (Yonhap) -- Eight of 11 South Koreans were released Wednesday after Hong Kong's prosecution opted not to charge them for organizing an illegal assembly during a recent meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) here.

The remaining three will be charged with the offense, which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years, Hong Kong prosecutors said.

The three defendants are Park In-hwan, 31, and Yun Il-kwon, 36, both South Korean farmers, and Yang Kyung-kyu, 46, an official from the nation's umbrella labor organization. All of them pleaded innocent to a charge of unlawful assembly.

Their trial was scheduled for March 1-7.

The court lifted an exit ban on the three and allowed them to be released on bail. The 11 South Koreans are expected to return home on Friday.

The suspects were arrested along with some 1,000 protesters from South Korea and other countries after attempting to disrupt the December meeting of WTO ministers in Hong Kong.

All were released shortly after their arrest except for the 11 South Koreans, one Taiwanese, one Japanese and a Chinese national. They were put on trial on suspicion of staging violent acts against Hong Kong police officers during their Dec. 17 rally.

Charges against the Taiwanese, Japanese and Chinese protesters were later dropped.

The 11 South Koreans have threatened to stage a new round of massive protests here unless all of their compatriots are released free of charge.

Jun Jae-hwan, head of the militant Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, also warned earlier in the week that such demonstrations may get "out of control"(^^) if staged.

The South Koreans have been waging a hunger strike at the Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry pier since last week, claiming the charges brought against them are based on false, or fabricated, evidence.

The trial of the South Korean protesters is expected to take weeks if not months, according to legal experts here.

Voice of People(in Korean):
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