tirsdag 27. juli 2021

Guilty verdict in first Hong Kong trial held under national security law

The first person charged and tried under Hong Kong’s draconian national security law has been found guilty of terrorism and inciting secession, in a landmark ruling that sets a precedent for future cases brought under the law. Tong Ying-kit, 24, a former waiter, had pleaded not guilty to the charges, which also included dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm. He faces possible prison terms ranging from several years to life, and his lawyers are expected to argue for a lighter punishment at his sentencing hearing on Thursday.

The case related to an incident that took place on 1 July 2020, less than 24 hours after the security law was enacted, as thousands of Hongkongers took to the streets in protest and were met with a heavy police response. Tong was found guilty of terrorism for crashing his motorcycle into three riot police, and of inciting secession for carrying a flag on the motorbike with the protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times”, which prosecutors said was separatist.