Lui Sai-yu, 25, appeared before judge Amanda Woodcock in District Court on Friday. He on Wednesday pleaded guilty to incitement to secession, for inciting others to organize, plan, execute and take part in activities that aim to seprate Hong Kong from China between June 30 and September 24, 2020.
Lui was also charged with possessing firearms and possessing offensive weapons without a license. He pleaded not guilty and the two charges were left on court file.
Woodcock highlighted the gravity of Lui's crime, where he advocated Hong Kong independence and appealed to the public for an armed revolution to achieve the goal.
“The content of this open public channel, in my view, is of a serious nature,” Woodcock wrote in her judgment, adding that she had no doubt Lui undermined national unification after reading his posts published since June 30, 2020.
Woodcock stressed that Lui and other administrators intended to reach out to as many as possible without being selective. She noted that messages published openly on the internet can go viral.
Woodcock also pointed out that Lui offered for sale weapons or other gear that they described as either for attacking others or defending oneself. “I find this relevant and an aggravating factor,” she also said.
Woodcock continued that the offense was committed during a time where there was social unrest and heightened anti-government sentiment. “In this context and in such a social climate, the offense aggravated the risks of public and social disorder,” Woodcock wrote.
Given the gravity of Lui's offense, Woodcock started his jail term at five years and six months. The jail term was then reduced by one-third to three years and eight months after Lui pleaded guilty.
Yet, the prosecution reminded Woodcock found the offense committed by Lui was of “serious nature,” and cited the national security law, saying that Woodcock must hand down a sentence not less then five years but not more than 10 years.
Woodcock in the end changed Lui's jail term to five years in accordance with the national security law, saying, “there is no exceptional circumstances.”
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