Hong Kong court convicts 90-year-old cardinal over protest fund

Hong Kong Cardinal Zen Taipei, Nov. 26.– A 90-year-old Roman Catholic cardinal and five others were yesterday fined by a Hong Kong court after being found guilty of failing to register a now-defunct fund that aimed to help people arrested in widespread protests three years ago.

Cardinal Joseph Zen (陳日君), a retired bishop and a vocal Hong Kong democracy advocate, arrived at court in a black outfit and used a walking stick.

He was in May arrested on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces under the Beijing-imposed National Security Law. His arrest sent shockwaves through Hong Kong’s Catholic community, and the Vatican at the time said it was monitoring the development of the situation closely.

While Zen and other democracy advocates have not yet been charged with national security-related offenses, they were charged with failing to properly register the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which helped pay medical and legal fees for arrested protesters beginning in 2019. It was forced by authorities to cease operations in October last year.

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