$500: Cardinal Zen Found Guilty
He was fined the symbolic penalty of HK$4,000 ($512).
The prosecutor argued that the requirement to register the fund did not infringe on freedom of association. He noticed that the fund has spent most of the "donations," more than HK$450M ($57M!).
Zen’s lawyer replied that the fund should not be considered an association or society as the defendants were not members of a society and had only helped run the fund. Judge Ada Yim concluded that the fund had "political" and not just "charitable purposes".
Zen was arrested (!) in May with four others. This triggered criticism from some Western regimes, yet not from the Vatican. At the time, he was accused of "collusion with foreign forces."
The other four trustees of the fund were fined the same amount. One of them, Margaret Ng, a lawyer, said that it is the first time ever that somebody was charged for such an offence. Zen told journalists after the verdict that the case did not concern freedom of religion.
Picture: Joseph Zen, © Etan Liam, CC BY-ND, #newsYgqnvzolzk