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Tycoon Jimmy Lai pleads guilty to further illegal protest charges

HONG KONG media tycoon Jimmy Lai was among three anti-China campaigners who pleaded guilty today to helping organise a violent protest in August 2019.

Billionaire Mr Lai was returned to jail after his plea because he was convicted last Thursday of illegal activity in relation to other riots.

The media mogul, sometimes called the “Asian Rupert Murdoch” for his ownership of multiple right-wing newspapers, has long used his outlets to attack the Chinese government. 

Hong Kong authorities say he has worked with foreign sponsors to destabilise the territory, and he was pictured in talks with then US national security adviser John Bolton at the height of the protests in the territory in 2019. 

Close to ex-US president Donald Trump, last November he was forced to deny involvement in publication of a report funded by one of his companies attempting to discredit current President Joe Biden as having links to Beijing. The report forced the resignation of his long-term aide Mark Simon.

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