#BREAKING Tong Ying-kit gets nine years in jail for inciting secession and terrorism

Local | 30 Jul 2021 3:17 pm

Leon Tong Ying-kit, Hong Kong first person convicted of inciting secession and terrorism under the national security law, was sentenced to nine-year imprisonment.

He also saw his driving license disqualified for 10 years.

The three national security judges Anthea Pang Po-kam, Esther Toh Lye-ping and Wilson Chan Ka-shun, sentenced him to 6.5-year and eight-year imprisonment for inciting secession and terrorism respectively.

The judges added that 2.5 years of the first sentence will run consecutively to the second sentence. The rest will run concurrently, resulting in a total term of nine years.

In the written reasons for sentence, the judges noted that Tong expressed remorse.

“If he had pleaded guilty, that would have been the greatest manifestation of such remorse and appropriate reduction in sentence would have been available to him,” they wrote.

Tong, “however, pleaded not guilty to the offenses, which of course is his right, but he cannot now rely on the expressed remorse as a mitigating factor to ask for a reduction in sentence,” the trio added.

They also expressed their sympathy for situation of Tong's family, that he was the main bread-winner, as well as the ill health of his mother and the advance age of his maternal grandmother.

“However, these are matters which the Defendant [Tong] should have thought about before embarking on his criminal acts. They could not be any mitigating factors,” the judges pointed out.

Tong, a 24-year-old former waiter, was found guilty of inciting secession and terrorism on Tuesday.

He rode his motorcycle into a group of police officers in Wan Chai while flying a flag with the protest slogan "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times" on July 1 last year – the day the security law imposed by Beijing went into effect.

The judges ruled that the slogan displayed by Tong could be seen as pro-independence and was capable of inciting others to commit secession.

In mitigation, the defense has asked the High Court to sentence Tong to no more than 10 years, saying he did not incite others to do anything apart from making them applaud him.

The lawyer added that Tong is a "decent young man" who did "something very stupid," and he tried to slow down the motorcycle on that day.

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