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Jimmy Lai: Hong Kong tycoon found not guilty in intimidation trial

Hong Kong court has found media mogul Jimmy Lai not guilty of intimidating a photojournalist from a rival newspaper three years ago.

Mr Lai had denied the charge of “criminal intimidation” over a 2017 incident at a Tiananmen massacre vigil.

Last month police detained the democracy activist in a separate case under a controversial new security law.

He is also facing several other charges over last year’s anti-government protests.

The 71-year-old’s arrest in August sparked global condemnation of the escalating crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong.

He was led in handcuffs through his newsroom as more than 200 police officers raided the building in extraordinary scenes streamed live by his Apple Daily newspaper.

While the arrest shocked many in Hong Kong, it was welcomed by Chinese state media where he is denounced as a traitor.

The Global Times said Apple Daily had been “instigating hatred, spreading rumours and smearing Hong Kong authorities and the mainland for years”.

Who is Jimmy Lai?

The millionaire magnate arrived in Hong Kong as a stowaway on a fishing boat.

He swiftly worked his way up from sweatshops to make his fortune in the clothing industry before founding Apple Daily in 1995.

A paper that started off as a local tabloid grew into a standard bearer for the city’s pro-democracy movement, unafraid to challenge leaders in Hong Kong and mainland China.

Mr Lai is one of the only tycoons in the territory who is openly critical of Beijing and he was a prominent supporter of the months-long reform protests that swept Hong Kong last year.

In June, when the national security law was imposed on the city by Beijing, Mr Lai told the BBC it “spells the death knell for Hong Kong”.

Less than two months later he became the highest-profile figure to be detained under the legislation.

Speaking after his release on bail in August, Mr Lai said he believed his arrest was “just the beginning”.

There will be “a long fight” ahead for Hong Kong’s freedoms, he said.

Copied from:BBC news

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