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Hong Kong Tycoon Jimmy Lai Among 3 Pleading Guilty to Illegal Assembly

HONG KONG—Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai and two pro-democracy activists pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges of participating in an illegal march during mass anti-government protests in 2019. The plea of guilty to joining the citywide unlawful protest on Aug. 31 that year comes a week after Lai and six more activists were found guilty in a separate court case over unauthorized assembly. The other activists who pleaded guilty were Lee Cheuk-yan and Yeung Sum. “I plead guilty, but I’ve done no wrong in affirming the rights of people to peaceful procession and I believe history will absolve me,” Lee said. Sentences in both cases are to be handed down later. The maximum possible punishment is five years in prison. The 2019 pro-democracy protests were spurred by Beijing’s tightening squeeze on wide-ranging freedoms promised to Hong Kong upon its return to Chinese rule in 1997, and plunged the semi-autonomous …

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