Hong Kong pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai has been sentenced to five years and nine months in prison for fraud. He was also fined around a quarter of a million euros for allegedly tampering with lease contracts from his companies.
Lay, 75, owns the defunct pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily. He was already serving a 20-month prison sentence after being found guilty in part on fraud allegations in October.
In addition, Lai has become December last year Already convicted To months in prison for attending the commemoration of the 1989 Chinese student uprising. There is also a charge against him Because of the National Security Act which was introduced in Hong Kong in 2020 to crack down on dissenters. Officially, Lai was suspected of “colluding with foreign powers”.
Life is imminent
Lai could face a life sentence in the latest case for refusing to plea bargain with the public prosecutor. The trial was supposed to start on December 1, but it was postponed because Lay wanted foreign counsel. Hong Kong refuses to allow this on national security grounds, but no official decision has been made yet.
The media mogul is the most prominent member of the pro-democracy movement in the former British crown colony to be brought to justice. Lay was vocally critical of the restriction of civil rights there. He described China’s actions as a pretext for repression and called on foreign countries to stand up to Beijing.
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