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Hong Kong Media Tycoon Jimmy Lai Jailed for 12 Months over Huge Democracy Rally

Media mogul Jimmy Lai, founder of Apple Daily, leaves the Court of Final Appeal by prison van in Hong Kong, China. (Reuters)

Media mogul Jimmy Lai, founder of Apple Daily, leaves the Court of Final Appeal by prison van in Hong Kong, China. (Reuters)

Alongside Lai, four other defendants also received immediate jail terms of eight to 18 months for organising and knowingly participating in the peaceful protest on August 18, 2019, which called for democracy and greater police accountability.

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai was jailed for 12 months on Friday over one of the city’s biggest-ever protests in 2019.

It is the first time the 73-year-old — who is currently in custody after his arrest under Beijing’s sweeping national security law — has received a sentence for his activism.

Alongside Lai, four other defendants also received immediate jail terms of eight to 18 months for organising and knowingly participating in the peaceful protest on August 18, 2019, which called for democracy and greater police accountability.

Four other defendants received suspended sentences, including 82-year-old respected barrister Martin Lee, known as the “father of democracy" in Hong Kong, and 73-year-old barrister and former lawmaker Margaret Ng.

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Shortly before the sentencing was handed down, prosecutors pressed two more fresh charges against Lai — an additional count of conspiring to collude with foreign forces under the sweeping national security law, and conspiring to obstruct the course of justice.

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first published:April 16, 2021, 14:55 IST