- High Court judge says courts often find it hard to decide whether to grant bail because it is difficult to assess whether a defendant will reoffend or abscond
- But not granting bail to a defendant effectively means jailing him before he is convicted, Justice Albert Wong says
A technician who has been charged with allegedly manufacturing a bomb outside a village house in northern Hong Kong will face round-the-clock surveillance after he was granted bail on Friday.
In an unprecedented arrangement, High Court judge Justice Albert Wong Sung-hau ordered surveillance cameras to be installed at Wong Wai-yin's home, the warehouse he works at, and three other locations as requested by police.
Wong, 29, faces one count of making explosive substance dinitrotoluene (DNT) on January 16 near Ng Uk Tsuen in Sheung Shui. He was remanded in jail custody later that day after being brought to Fanling Magistrates' Court.
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The presiding judge also ordered Wong to pay a cash bail of HK$600,000 (US$77,240) and submit the names of three sureties, each of whom had to fork out a deposit of HK$50,000.
Wong was required to report to a police station every day and was barred from leaving the city.
Hong Kong courts do not generally require installation of surveillance cameras as part of a bail condition.
The new foray into the technology came after the presiding judge remarked earlier when handling another bail application that defendants should be given an electronic device which would monitor them.
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He said the courts often found it hard to decide whether to grant bail because it would be difficult to assess whether a defendant would reoffend or abscond.
But if a judge decided not to grant bail to a defendant, it would effectively mean he was jailing him before he was convicted, he said.
The defendant will appear at Fanling Magistrates' Court on April 14.
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