Hong Kong man jailed for 6 years after pleading guilty to a terrorism charge over a foiled bomb plot

by Gabriel Martinez
National Security Law

A Hong Kong resident has been sentenced to a six-year prison term after admitting to a terrorism-related offense, as outlined in the national security law imposed by Beijing. This individual, Ho Yu-wang, aged 19, was identified as the chief planner behind a thwarted scheme to bomb court buildings. The plot, which transpired in 2021 and primarily involved secondary school students, was disrupted thanks to a diligent police investigation. Fortunately, no explosive devices were manufactured, and no injuries were sustained during this incident.

During a raid conducted in 2021, the authorities confiscated equipment believed to be intended for the production of explosives. Moreover, Ho was alleged to have documented his intent to destabilize Hong Kong, provoke conflicts between the central government and other entities, and establish a resistance group.

In addition to Ho, two other individuals received prison sentences of up to six years on an alternate charge.

While Ho may not have been a prominent figure in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, his case garnered significant attention due to the involvement of mostly students in the plot when the prosecution commenced about two years ago.

In May, Ho admitted guilt to conspiring to organize, plan, or execute terrorist activities, as stipulated by the security law that was imposed on the former British colony following the 2019 protests.

This security law, enacted in 2020, criminalizes acts related to secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces, resulting in the prosecution of numerous prominent activists in the city. Both Beijing and local Hong Kong authorities lauded this law for its role in restoring stability to the financial hub.

Judge Alex Lee expressed that had the plot come to fruition, it would have further deteriorated the social climate in Hong Kong. Ho demonstrated a disregard for the rule of law and the well-being of his associates. However, Lee did take into account Ho’s timely confession and subsequent cooperation with the police when determining his sentence, leading to a reduction from the initial 10-year starting point.

During mitigation, it was conveyed to the court that Ho was appreciative of his apprehension, as it prevented his plan from being carried out. He also indicated a shift in his perspective and a return to his studies, with a particular focus on Chinese history.

Two other defendants, Kwok Man-hei, aged 21, and Cheung Ho-yeung, aged 23, received sentences of two-and-a-half years and six years in prison, respectively. They confessed to conspiring to cause explosions that posed a threat to life and property, an alternative charge under a separate law.

In May, four individuals implicated in the plot had already been sentenced to imprisonment or rehabilitation-focused training programs following their guilty pleas to the alternative charge.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about National Security Law

What was the specific charge against Ho Yu-wang in this case?

Ho Yu-wang was charged with conspiring to organize, plan, or execute terrorist activities, as defined by the national security law imposed in Hong Kong.

How did the authorities discover the foiled bomb plot?

The plot came to light when the police conducted a raid in 2021, during which they seized equipment believed to be intended for making explosives. This led to the uncovering of the plan.

Were any explosive devices actually manufactured, and were there any casualties?

No, no explosive devices were manufactured, and no casualties occurred in relation to this foiled bomb plot. The plot was disrupted before it could be executed.

What impact did the national security law have on Ho Yu-wang’s case?

The national security law, enacted in 2020, provided the legal framework for prosecuting Ho Yu-wang and others involved in the plot. It criminalizes acts related to terrorism and has been used to prosecute various activists in Hong Kong.

How did the court determine Ho Yu-wang’s sentence?

The presiding judge, Alex Lee, considered various factors, including Ho’s guilty plea and subsequent cooperation with the police. These factors contributed to a reduction in his sentence from a starting point of 10 years.

Were there any other individuals implicated in this plot, and what were their sentences?

Two other defendants, Kwok Man-hei and Cheung Ho-yeung, received sentences of two-and-a-half years and six years, respectively, for conspiring to cause explosions. In May, four additional individuals involved in the plot had already been sentenced to imprisonment or rehabilitation programs.

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CuriousGeorge December 28, 2023 - 10:51 am

good thing the police raided in time, cud hav been bad

NewsJunkie47 December 28, 2023 - 11:53 am

national security law in hk is really strict, wonder how they enforce it

LegalEagle December 28, 2023 - 5:10 pm

judge alex lee made the rite call, considerin ho’s plea

InfoSeeker789 December 29, 2023 - 12:11 am

always follow the rule of law, that’s important

Reader123 December 29, 2023 - 12:28 am

ho got what he deservd, six yearz is nothing for such a srs crime, shud be more!


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