HK secessionist Andy Li plead guilty to conspiracy to endanger national security; Jimmy Lai revealed to be mastermind
Published: Aug 19, 2021 05:23 PM
Media staff wait outside the High Court in Hong Kong, south China, Nov. 15, 2016. File photo: Xinhua

Media staff wait outside the High Court in Hong Kong, south China, Nov. 15, 2016. File photo: Xinhua

 Andy Li Yu-hin, one of the 12 fugitives from Hong Kong detained in Chinese mainland water and founder of secessionist group "Hong Kong story," along with his legal assistant, pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiring to collude with foreign forces to endanger national security. Jimmy Lai, the currently imprisoned founder of Next Digital, was revealed to be the mastermind behind the conspiracy. 

In High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Thursday morning, Li and his legal assistant Chan Tsz-wah admitted to organizing campaigns around the world to call on foreign governments to sanction officials of the government of the HKSAR and the central Chinese government, as well as help the 11 others to flee to the island of Taiwan. 

Li and Chan were charged with "conspiring with a foreign country or foreign element to endanger national security" and "conspiring to assist offenders." Li was also charged with one count of possessing ammunition without a license. 

According to local media, prosecution at court said that from June to August 2019, Li organized crowd funding and conducted three rounds of international campaigns following the instructions from Lai and his top aide Mark Simon conveyed by Chan. 

The campaign aimed to condemn China, the HKSAR and Hong Kong police. It also urged foreign countries to sanction China and the HKSAR. Their propaganda articles were published in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and other countries. 

The prosecution said that Lai and Simon were the masterminds and financial backers behind the scenes and were in command at the highest level. All requests for financial support for the project were personally approved by the pair.

After the lead prosecutor read out a long summary of facts, both Li and Chan said they agreed with the stated details of the case, local media reported. "I agree to the facts and I would like to say sorry," Li said.

Li was arrested in August 2020. When later released on bail, Li tried to flee to Taiwan island by speedboat with 11 others charged with violent crimes. The 12 were seized in Chinese mainland waters by the Guangdong Coast Guard, and accused of making an illegal border crossing. Li served seven months in prison in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province. 

The case was adjourned to January 3, 2022. 

According to the national security law for Hong Kong, colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security can incur life imprisonment at maximum. 

Global Times