Jimmy Lai gets 14 months’ jail in total for August 2019 march and prayer rally

Published (HKT): 2021.04.16 18:17

Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai and former lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan will spend another two months in jail for taking part in a Christian prayer rally in August 2019, in addition to a one-year prison term received over another case, a Hong Kong court ruled on Friday.

The Aug. 31 rally was one of many events held citywide that year in conjunction with an anti-extradition bill movement.

The sentencing over the religious event was the second passed on Lai, 73, and Lee, 64, at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on the same day, after they were given one-year jail terms for organizing and taking part in an unauthorized Aug. 18, 2019, assembly.

In total, each of the two would be jailed for 14 months.

Former Democratic Party chair Yeung Sum, 73, was sentenced to eight months over the same charge, suspended for 12 months, said Judge Amanda Woodcock, who presided over both protest cases.

Earlier this month, the trio pleaded guilty to one count of knowingly taking part in an unauthorized assembly on Aug. 31, 2019. The maximum possible punishment is five years in prison.

Woodcock used a one-year jail term as the starting point and reduced their sentences by a quarter on the basis of the guilty pleas they entered before the trial began. Lai’s sentence was further cut by a month because of his health, resulting in an eight-month term. Yeung’s sentence was similarly cut owing to his advanced years, and in view of his many contributions to education and social work, the jail term of eight months was suspended for 12 months.

Lee, who served the society for many years, received a six-month term in the Aug. 31 case.

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