7th April 2021 – (Hong Kong) Next Digital owner, Jimmy Lai, who was remanded on suspicion of violating the National Security Law was found guilty of organising and participating in an unauthorised assembly on 18th August 2019 on Thursday (1st). Jimmy Lai, Labour Party vice-chairman Lee Cheuk-yan and former Democratic Party chairman Yeung Sum were charged for participating in another unapproved assembly on 31st August 2019 and their case started in the Wan Chai District Court this morning and the trial is expected to take 7 days, but the three defendants suddenly pleaded guilty. The prison car that was carrying Jimmy Lai arrived at the court at about 9am.
After hearing the defence’s plea, the judge Amanda Jane Woodcock stated that she could not sentence today and decided to adjourn the case to next Friday (16th). Jimmy and others involved in the organisation and participation in an unauthorised assembly on 18th August, 2019 would be sentenced together. The prosecution applied to revoke the bail of the three defendants, saying that after Jimmy Lai and Lee Cheuk-yan committed the crime on 18th August, 2019, they committed the crime on 31st August, 2019 again within a short period of time. However, the judge finally decided to approve Lee Cheuk-yan and Yeung Sum to continue to be released on bail.
The charges allege that they participated in an unauthorised assembly between Wanchai and Central on 31st August, 2019, violating section 17A of the Public Order Ordinance, Cap 245 of the Laws of Hong Kong. According to the regulations, the maximum penalty for this charge is 5 years imprisonment.