Guilty verdict in HK's first national security trial

The first person charged under Hong Kong's national security law was found guilty on Tuesday (July 27).

24-year-old Tong Ying-kit was found guilty of terrorism and inciting secession, in the landmark case which has long-term implications for how the legislation reshapes the city's common law traditions.

An alternative charge of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm was not considered.

Tong, a former waiter, is accused of carrying a flag with the protest slogan "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times" and driving his motorbike into officers during a protest last July, shortly after the security law was enacted.

The charges could lead to a prison term of several years to life. His sentencing will be announced at a later date.

His trial tests the limits of free speech in Hong Kong as prosecution and defense argued over the meaning of the slogan, widely used during the city's mass anti-government protests in 2019.

Pro-democracy activists and human rights groups see Tong's case as a departure from Hong Kong's common law traditions, since he was denied bail and a jury trial.

The three judges at Tong's trial were picked by Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to hear national security cases.

Both Beijing and Hong Kong's governments have repeatedly said the security law was necessary to bring stability back to the city, and assert that the rights and freedoms promised upon its return to Chinese rule in 1997 remain intact.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting