Cardinal Joseph Zen and five others are found guilty by a Hong Kong court about a relief fund

A Hong Kong court has convicted Joseph Zen and five other pro-democracy figures for failing to register a now-defunct protester relief fund as a nation . The 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund was established in June 2019 and provided financial assistance to those that were detained or injured before it was closed in August 2022 .

Hong Kong, November 25: A Hong Kong court has convicted cardinal Joseph Zen and five other pro-democracy figures for failing to register a now-defunct protester relief fund as a nation.According to the Hong Kong Free Press, they have all been fined up to HK$4,000.Zen, barrister Margaret Ng, former lawmaker Cyd Ho, author Hui Po-keung, singer-activist Denise Ho, and Sze Ching-wee have been found guilty.All of them appeared in the West Kowloon Magistrates Courts on Friday.

Five trustees of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund were fined HK$4,000 by Yim.She also ordered Sze Ching-wee to pay HK$2,500 in fines.According to Yim, the Societies Ordinance is applicable to the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund.A society must register or request an exemption from registration within one month of its establishment.

According to Yim, the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund involved people and had contacts with political parties.Yim ruled that all six defendants could be office bearers of the fund, meaning they could be held accountable for not registering the trust as a community.Any of them, according to the magistrate, was responsible for the fund's administrative and financial control.According to Hong Kong Free Press, the magistrate further stated that they were more familiar with the organization of funds than other members.

However, Yim said that Sze was a fund coordinator and involved in meetings related to decision-making.Yim said she was not sure that Sze was a contractor and that he was also an office bearer in the organisation.According to the news story, the defense challenged the constitutionality of the Societies Ordinance in the courtroom.Yim said that the right to assembly was not intrinsic and could be restricted for reasons such as national security, public safety, social order, and the preservation of others rights or freedoms.According to the Hong Kong Free Press, the court accepted that the purposes of the registration scheme were correct and that the appropriate requirements were fair.

After learning that the Alliance for True Democracy Limited, the company that holds its assets, will make a similar move, it was shut down.

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