Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying was sentenced on Friday to 12 months in prison for attending an illegal assembly in 2019.
Lai and six ex-lawmakers were convicted on April 1 of organizing and knowingly taking part in an unauthorized assembly on Hong Kong Island on Aug 18, 2019. They are Martin Lee Chu-ming and Lee Cheuk-yan, Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, Leung Kwok-hung, Ho Sau-lan, and Albert Ho Chun-yan.
Their mitigation pleas were heard Friday morning by District Court Judge Amanda Woodcock.
Two other defendants, ex-lawmakers Au Nok-hin and Leung Yiu-chung, who pleaded guilty in February, will also be sentenced.
The prosecution suggested the judge earlier to take the prior records of activists Wong Chi-fung, Agnes Chow Ting and Ivan Lam Long-yin into account when considering the proper sentences for the nine. Wong is now serving a 13.5-month prison term over another illegal protest.
Lai, founder of Hong Kong tabloid Apple Daily, and former lawmakers Lee Cheuk-yan and Yeung Sum, will be sentenced separately Friday in another case involving illegal assembly on Aug 31, 2019. The three pleaded guilty to that offense on April 7.
Lai also faces charges of collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security, in violation of the city's National Security Law, and fraud. Chief Magistrate of West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts So Wai-tak will hear the cases.
On June 11, Lai will go on trial for another illegal-assembly charge over an unauthorized rally on June 4, 2020.