04/23/2021, 17.59
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Pro-Hong Kong independence activist gets to 12 years

Louis Lo is guilty of keeping highly explosive material. His sentence is the harshest imposed in connection to activities related to the 2019 government protests. For Judge Andrew Chan, the defendant sought to promote separation from China.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – The High Court today handed down a 12-year sentence against a member of a now-disbanded pro-independence group. This is the stiffest sentence imposed on anyone for activities related to the 2019 pro-democracy protests.

Louis Lo was found guilty of keeping a kilogram of high grade explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP), and 10 petrol bombs in a studio inside a factory building. The 29-year-old pleaded guilty to concealing the explosive material.

The Hong Kong National Front, the pro-independence organisation in which Lo was active, has always denied involvement in the affair.

According to Judge Andrew Chan, the defendant planned to use explosives to sow “fear and terror among the people”.

His aim was to promote the separation of the former British colony from the People's Republic of China during the 2019 anti-government protests. The offence falls under China’s 2020 national security law.

Although prosecutors failed to establish a link between Lo and the protest movement, Judge Chan was satisfied that the pro-independence material found in Lo’s industrial studio, flat and mobile phone were sufficient to establish motive.

Lo's sentencing comes a week after that of 10 pro-democracy activists, including media mogul Jimmy Lai, who were convicted of organising and taking part in anti-government protests in August 2019.

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