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Hong Kong Man Found Guilty in First Verdict Under National Security Law

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HONG KONG—The first person charged under a national-security law imposed by Beijing was found guilty of inciting secession and terrorism, a court ruled Tuesday, in a verdict that reaffirms new limits on speech in the city and could set a precedent for future trials under the law.

Tong Ying-kit, 24 years old, had pleaded not guilty to the charges. Mr. Tong was filmed driving a motorcycle that collided with police officers during street protests on July 1 last year—the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997—the day after the national security law was unveiled.

Mr. Tong carried a flag bearing the popular protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Times.” Following the incident, the Hong Kong government has said the slogan carries connotations of Hong Kong independence or subverting state power.

The national security law, imposed by Beijing on June 30 last year, gives Beijing and local police broad powers covering four new categories of crimes: secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security.

Mr. Tong was denied a trial by jury and bail. Critics have said the new practices under the national-security law departed from Hong Kong’s common law system, under which a right to jury and bail has been important features.

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