Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai convicted over banned Tiananmen vigil

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Hong Kong: As many as three Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, including media tycoon Jimmy Lai, have been convicted of charges linked to last year’s banned Tiananmen Massacre vigil.
Lai, along with a member of the now-defunct Hong Kong democratic group Chow Hang-tung and activist Gwyneth Ho were also convicted in the District Court on Thursday, Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) reported. These three were the only defendants who pleaded not guilty to the charges and went through trial. As many as 24 people were brought to the court, 16 of those who pleaded guilty had already been sentenced.
Jimmy Lai, the founder of Next Digital was already serving sentence under other charges.
He has been charged with crimes that include violating the security law. In June, Hong Kong authorities had frozen the outlet’s bank account and it resulted in the closure of its flagship newspaper Apple Daily.
Apple Daily faced advertising boycotts despite being widely read. Next Digital had stressed that it had been forced to close before any of the cases against its senior figures had gone to trial.
Meanwhile, Chow was found guilty of inciting others to take part in the Tiananmen vigil. Ho, on the other hand, was convicted of knowingly taking part in the unauthorised assembly.
Last year, the commemorative vigil was banned by the police citing COVID-19 concerns. The defendants challenged the validity of the police ban in court, but the prosecution argued that they were not entitled to do so, according to HKFP.
During her testimony, activist Ho argued that she was there not to mourn the victims, but to show resistance to the police prohibition of the event.


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