Hong Kong journalist convicted over database search for mob attack probe

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An award-winning Hong Kong journalist was found guilty on Thursday (Apr 22) of improperly searching a public database of vehicle licence plates to help track down the perpetrators of an attack on democracy supporters by government loyalists.

The conviction of Bao Choy, a producer with public broadcaster RTHK, comes at a time of deepening concerns over press freedom in the international business hub as Beijing stamps out dissent in the wake of huge democracy protests.

Choy, 37, was found guilty on two counts of “knowingly making a false statement” to access number plate ownership records.

“Members of the public do not have an absolute right to obtain any document under this ordinance,” principal magistrate Ivy Chui said.

Choy faced up to six months in jail but was ultimately fined HK$6,000 (US$770).


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