Update: Three attackers of Global Times reporter found guilty of riots, assault in Hong Kong, observers say ‘justice served’
Published: Jan 06, 2021 12:37 PM

Hong Kong rioters tied Global Times reporter Fu Guohao to an airport trolley and beat him after falsely claiming he was a fake reporter. File Photo: AFP

A Hong Kong court has found three suspects involved in illegally detaining and wounding a Global Times reporter at the Hong Kong airport in August 2019, guilty of riots and assaulting people, with some observers calling the conviction within their expectation and saying that justice has been served. 

Lai Yun Long was found guilty of attacking and taking part in riot activities while Pat Wai-fun was found guilty for illegal detention, attacking and taking part in riot activities, according to local media reports in Hong Kong. Another attacker was also found guilty of assault and taking part in riot activities, reports said. 

The three had attacked Fu Guohao with American flags, dragged him to a luggage cart and restrained him with plastic zips while aiming laser pointers at him, which all showed that their goal was to jeopardize social stability and attack the mainland journalist. 

Among the four prosecuted in the case, three were found guilty and one suspect was acquitted. A video clip shown in court showed the suspect acquitted wearing a mask that fully covered his face and that his clothing could not be distinguished from other people. As a result, the court could not reach the conclusion that he had committed the crime. 

"Three suspects convicted showed that justice is served,�?Kennedy Wong Ying-ho, solicitor of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong, told the Global Times on Wednesday. Rioting is a serious crime, which can be punished with a sentence of up to 10 years, he added. 

The overall conviction was in line with expectations, some insiders who closely observed the case told the Global Times on Wednesday. It is also understandable that the fourth suspect was acquitted as he was wearing a mask, which brought his identity into question. 

Fu, a reporter for the Global Times website, was attacked by rioters at the Hong Kong airport on August 13, 2019 while he was performing reporting tasks.  

Radical protesters at the airport beat and tied him up, claiming that he had taken photos of them. Rioters told other reporters at the terminal that they searched Fu's bag and found a T-shirt with a banner saying, "I love Hong Kong Police," so they attacked him.

The court did not announce the sentence on Wednesday, and proceedings will be adjourned until January 8, when the sentence will be announced, according to media reports.