Chinese charged in plot against Hong Kong's Lee
A man from mainland China appeared in a Hong Kong court on Monday for an alleged plot against one of the city's leading democratic politicians, which police foiled last year.
The alleged plot was directed at veteran democrat and China critic Martin Lee, a leading figure in the territory's political and democratic development before and after 1997 when the former British colony reverted to Chinese rule.
Huang Nanhua, 50, alias Wong Siu-ming, is charged with "carrying arms and ammunition with intent to commit an arrestable offence", court documents showed. He is also accused of unlicensed possession of firearms.
Local media said Huang, who was driven in a police van to the city's High Court wearing a black face mask, had intended to assassinate Lee last August.
The plot was uncovered during a routine police roadblock, when Huang was found with a homemade firearm, five bullets and pieces of paper with details about Lee, including his name, office address and phone number, the court was told.
Huang also had the contact details of well-known newspaper publisher Jimmy Lai, whose tabloid Apple Daily is known for its pro-democracy leanings and critical stance towards China.
The court was told Huang had earlier admitted to police he wanted to "teach someone a lesson" but not to kill that person, Hong Kong's Cable Television reported.
Huang was arrested a month before Hong Kong's legislative council elections, during which Lee and other pro-democracy politicians campaigned hard for Beijing to allow direct elections in the city by 2012, rather than 2017 as now planned.
While Lee and the city's pro-democracy camp have long been a thorn in the side of China's Communist leaders, Lee himself has dismissed the likelihood of Beijing's involvement in the plot.
In 2006, another Democrat, Albert Ho, was attacked in a McDonald's restaurant by men wielding baseball bats. Four men were jailed.
Police have said the two cases may be linked.