St. Louis, Mo., Sep 19, 2022 / 11:51 am
The criminal trial of Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong has been delayed after the judge presiding over the case tested positive for COVID-19, Hong Kong media reported.
Zen, 90, was to have stood trial beginning Monday in connection to his role as a trustee of a pro-democracy legal fund, which he and other trustees are accused of failing to register civilly. Zen is the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, an outspoken advocate for religious freedom and democracy, and a sharp critic of the Vatican’s 2018 agreement with Beijing on the appointment of bishops.
Local media reported over the weekend that the trial — originally set to begin Sept. 19 and expected to conclude with a verdict on Sept. 23 — has been delayed by at least two days because Permanent Magistrate Ada Yim Shun-yee, the judge overseeing the case, contracted COVID-19. Zen has been free on bail since early May.
In addition to Zen, lawyer Margaret Ng, singer-activist Denise Ho, cultural studies scholar Hui Po-keung, activist Sze Ching-wee, and ex-legislator Cyd Ho are accused of failing to apply for local society registration for the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund between July 16, 2019, and Oct. 31, 2021.