Hong Kong police charge five over legislature blast

A man walking into the Legislative Council surrounded by barrier fence, in Hong Kong on Dec 10, 2015.
A man walking into the Legislative Council surrounded by barrier fence, in Hong Kong on Dec 10, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - Hong Kong police on Wednesday (Dec 23) charged five men with conspiracy to arson over a small blast outside the legislature earlier this month.

The men aged 18-24 years would appear in court later on Wednesday (Dec 23), a police spokesman said. A sixth man aged 22 years had been released on bail without charge and would have to report to police in January.

The men, including four college students, were arrested on Monday (Dec 21) in connection with the Dec 9 blast in a bin outside the council. No one was injured in the blast.

The incident came hours after a debate about a contentious copyright bill was adjourned because not enough legislators turned up. Opponents say the law would restrict freedom of expression.

Media had reported that two of the six were members of a pro-Hong Kong independence group, Valiant Frontier, which had rallied online against the bill.