The Hong Kong Justice has sentenced this Saturday to five years and nine months in prison and a fine of two million Hong Kong dollars (about 244,000 euros) to media magnate Jimmy Lai.
Lai has been found guilty of two counts of fraud with which he was charged as early as October. In addition, the sentence has included a ban on managing any type of company for the next eight years, as reported by the Bloomberg agency.
Although Lai has pleaded not guilty to using the headquarters of a former company for unspecified purposes, the Prosecutor’s Office has determined that the tycoon’s activity would have benefited his now-defunct newspaper, the ‘Apple Daily’.
In this fraud case, prosecutors also seek to confiscate the illegal earnings of the 75-year-old media mogul, according to the local newspaper ‘The South China Morning Post’.
This sentence against Lai adds to the growing list of renowned dissidents imprisoned by the region’s authorities. In fact, the ‘Apple Daily’ also closed last year under pressure from a National Security Law drawn up from China.
Lai has already served 20 months in prison for his participation in unauthorized assemblies during the 2019 anti-government protests. The pro-democracy activist also faces charges under the aforementioned security legislation, including conspiring to collude with foreign forces.