A Communist China-controlled Hong Kong court ruled on Wednesday that the former leader of pro-independence group Studentlocalism was guilty of secession under the city’s sweeping national security law, as well as money laundering, following a plea bargain with the prosecution.
Mr. Tony Chung, 20, was charged with the offences in October last year and denied bail.
Local media reported at the time he was taken away along with two others from a coffee shop close to the U.S. consulate by unidentified men and was believed to be preparing for an asylum application.
He is the youngest person facing life imprisonment for the so-called ‘secession crime.’
Mr. Chung entered a plea bargain, admitting guilt on the charge of secession and one count of money laundering and pleading not guilty to a sedition charge and another money laundering accusation.
Prosecutor Mr. Ivan Cheung said he acted as an administrator for the Facebook pages of the U.S. branch of Studentlocalism and an organisation called the Initiative Independence Party.
Pro-independence T-shirts, flags and books were also seized from his home, the prosecutor said. The money laundering charge is related to donations he received via PayPal.
I have a clear conscience, Mr. Chung said in his plea.