A jury handed down a guilty verdict on Thursday for the two defendants who were accused of attacking former Ming Pao editor Kevin Lau Chun-to.

Yip Kim-wah and Wong Chi-wah, both 37, were charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent after stabbing Lau with a knife. They were also charged with the theft of a motorcycle, and Yip with the theft of a motorcycle license plate. The pair was found guilty on all counts by the jury.

kevin lau, journalist, attack
Kevin Lau.

Prosecutor Nicholas Adams said in his closing statement on Tuesday that the most important evidence was the pair’s confession made during a video interview with the police.

Adams called the defence’s allegation that the pair were threatened into cooperating with the police “a load of rubbish.” He also argued that the defendants had described the process of the crime in detail, so it was likely to be from memory and not fed by the police at the station, as was claimed by the defence.

The jury, under the guidance of The Hon. Madam Justice Esther Toh Lye-ping, deliberated for three hours before coming to a unanimous decision.

Lau met with the press on Thursday afternoon, thanking the police, the court and the jury. He said that the ruling was just. He added that he hoped the police would apprehend the mastermind, so that journalists and the general public could feel at ease.

The attack took place in February 2014. Lau, formerly editor-in-chief at Ming Pao, was getting off his car in Sai Wan Ho when he was attacked by Yip and Wong. The two were later caught in mainland China and brought to Hong Kong police. Both defendants admitted in their witness statements to receiving HK$100,000 each. They denied all charges during the trial at the High Court, however. The attack sparked a widespread debate in the city on the freedom of press.

The sentence will be handed out on August 21.

Karen cheung hong kong

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.