Hong Kong student leader Joshua Wong has pleaded not guilty to charges of police obstruction during a protest over a year ago. Natasha Howitt reports.
After walking out of his court hearing, student leader Joshua Wong condemned police charges against him as political persecution. He and three other activists had earlier pleaded not guilty to charges of obstructing police officers during a small protest last year. The prosecution, after being asked by the judge why it had taken them so long to press charges, said they had taken the year to collect evidence. (SOUNDBITE) (Cantonese) STUDENT LEADER, JOSHUA WONG, SAYING: "All four of us agree with what the judge said today. We question the police and the Department of Justice for leaving it so long and we believe it's political persecution." Wong confirmed the group had - during the protest - burnt a copy of a policy paper from China's State Council reminding Hong Kong there were limits to its freedom. The June 11 protest, which saw only 30 people attend, came months before the far larger demonstrations that attracted worldwide attention and ground Hong Kong to a halt. The four will appear at a pre-trial hearing on August 28.