HK tycoon Jimmy Lai sentenced to 12 months for illegal assembly


Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai (second from left) arrives at the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong on Dec 31, 2020. - China Daily

HONG KONG (China Daily/ANN): Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai was sentenced on Friday (April 16) to 12 months in prison for attending an illegal assembly in 2019.

Lai and six ex-lawmakers were convicted on April 1 of organising and knowingly taking part in an unauthorised assembly on Hong Kong Island on Aug 18,2019.

They are Martin Lee and Lee Cheuk-yan, Margaret Ng, Leung Kwok-hung, Ho Sau-lan, and Albert Ho.

Their mitigation pleas were heard Friday morning by District Court Judge Amanda Woodcock.

Two other defendants, ex-lawmakers Au Nok-hin and Leung Yiu-chung, who pleaded guilty in February, will also be sentenced.

The prosecution suggested the judge earlier to take the prior records of activists Wong Chi-fung, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam into account when considering the proper sentences for the nine. Wong is now serving a 13.5-month prison term over another illegal protest.

Lai, founder of Hong Kong tabloid Apple Daily, and former lawmakers Lee Cheuk-yan and Yeung Sum, will be sentenced separately Friday in another case involving illegal assembly on Aug 31,2019.

The three pleaded guilty to that offence on April 7.

Lai also faces charges of collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security, in violation of the city’s National Security Law, and fraud. Chief Magistrate of West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts So Wai-tak will hear the cases.

On June 11, Lai will go on trial for another illegal-assembly charge over an unauthorised rally on June 4,2020. - China Daily/Asia News Network

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