First person convicted under HK Security Law

HONG KONG: In the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s (HKSAR) first conviction under the National Security Law for Hong Kong, the city’s High Court found that a motorcyclist who rammed police officers was guilty of terrorism and incitement to secession.

Leon Tong, the first to be charged under the law in Hong Kong, faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

A three-judge High Court panel on Tuesday ruled that during a protest last year, Tong had intentionally incited others to separate the HKSAR from China and “seriously jeopardised public safety”.

During a protest in Wan Chai district on July 1 last year, Tong, now 24, struck three police officers with his motorcycle. He also had with him a flag bearing a protest slogan that was a signature rallying call during the 2019 social unrest.

He was arrested and charged with terrorism, incitement to secession and dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm.

The judges held that the slogan carried secessionist meaning and that the display of the words was capable of inciting others to commit secession.

They also found that the defendant’s act of crashing into the police officers was a deliberate challenge mounted against the police.

The officers were knocked to the ground, suffering multiple injuries.

The court ruled that every element of the offenses in the incitement and terrorism counts had been proved, so there was no need to deal with the charge of dangerous driving.

The court will hear the defendant’s mitigation plea today. — China Daily/ANN

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