Hong Kong court finds 14 of 16 democracy activists guilty of subversion | Courts News



Two people acquitted in landmark national security trial targeting democracy activists and politicians.

A court in Hong Kong has found 14 of 16 activists and politicians guilty of subversion in the Chinese territory’s largest-ever trial under the Beijing-imposed national security law.

The judges, designated to hear cases brought under the 2020 security law, which does not allow jury trials, shared the reasoning for their decision in a 319 page document that was posted online.

The group was among 47 people, including some of Hong Kong’s most prominent supporters of democracy, charged over an unofficial 2020 primary to choose candidates for a Legislative Council election that was later postponed.

Many of them have been held in custody since they were arrested in a predawn swoop in January 2021.

Two of defendants – lawyer Laurence Lau and Lee Yue-shun – were acquitted, making them the first people to be cleared of national security law charges since the legislation came into force nearly four years ago.

The remaining defendants pleaded guilty.

The guilty face a a maximum term of life in prison.

There was a heavy police presence outside the court as people queued up to enter. Proceedings were adjourned until 2.30pm (06:30 GMT).


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