Activists found guilty over last year’s June 4 vigil

Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai and activist Chow Hang-tung were on Thursday found guilty of inciting people to join a banned June 4 candlelight vigil last year.

The District Court also convicted Chow and activist Gwyneth Ho of taking part in the unauthorised assembly at Victoria Park which the police banned citing the Covid-19 pandemic.

Delivering the verdict, Judge Amanda Woodcock said Lai had attended a press conference outside Victoria Park in the evening, along with members of the now-defunct Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China – the group which had previously organised annual June 4 vigils at the park.

Woodcock said Lai’s presence was a deliberate act to rally support for the illegal gathering.

The judge added that Chow, the then vice chairwoman of the alliance, had written a post on her Facebook page with “an implicit intention of asking people to join her in Victoria Park”.

Woodcock noted Chow had also handed out candles outside Victoria Park that evening while referring to a commemoration vigil without saying where it was.

“I am sure the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt from the evidence admitted that what was said and done as a group gathered at the Water Fountain Plaza was an intention by [Lai and Chow] and others to unlawfully incite others to knowingly take part in an unauthorised assembly in Victoria Park that evening,” Woodcock wrote.

Twenty-one other co-defendants in this case had earlier pleaded guilty.

The judge had also issued an arrest warrant for two other suspects, Nathan Law and Sunny Cheung, who did not turn up for the court proceedings.