SCMP: Hong Kong national security law: judge grants activist bail to finish nursing degree

  • In a written judgment, Justice Esther Toh says she does not believe Owen Chow explicitly called for Hong Kong independence
  • Chow is one of 47 opposition figures accused of conspiring to subvert state power

A Hong Kong judge selected to hear national security law proceedings granted an opposition activist bail ahead of his subversion trial so he could finish his nursing degree, court documents released on Thursday show.

In a written judgment released by the judiciary, Madam Justice Esther Toh Lye-ping of the Court of First Instance said her decision to grant Owen Chow Ka-shing’s application two months ago was also based on her belief the activist had never explicitly called for Hong Kong independence during an unofficial primary for legislative elections last year.

Chow, 24, a candidate in the July primary and an undergraduate at the Open University of Hong Kong, previously secured bail of HK$50,000 (US$6,440) plus a surety of HK$50,000. Conditions for his release included a ban on overseas travel, as well as running, organising and coordinating any elections.