The two attackers of former Ming Pao editor Kevin Lau have been sentenced to 19 years in jail on Friday.

Yip Kim-wah and Wong Chi-wah, both 37, were found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent last Thursday. They were also convicted on charges of theft relating to a motorcycle and a license plate.

Kevin Lau. Photo: Apple Daily.

The Hon. Madam Justice Esther Toh Lye-ping said although there was no direct evidence to show that the attack was related to Lau’s work as a journalist, it was important for members of the press to be adequately protected by the law.

Yip Kim-wah. Photo: Apple Daily.

The judge noted that the pair expressed no remorse and planned the crime with precision. She took into account the absence of mitigating factors and the need for a deterrent effect, sentencing the two to 19 years of imprisonment each. She described the attack, which happened in broad daylight, as a cold-blooded crime motivated by money.

The judge also praised the police for being professional and tracking down the defendants quickly.

The attack took place in February 2014. Lau was attacked as he left his car in Sai Wan Ho. He suffered six chop wounds to his back and leg, with the longest measuring one up to 16cm. He is still receiving physiotherapy as a result of the attack.

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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.