Two men guilty of attacking HK editor get 19 years in jail

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Hong Kong attack; One of the two assailants helps police inspect the scene of crimeImage source, AFP
Image caption,
One of the assailants helped police inspect the scene of crime

Two men who were found guilty of attacking a former Hong Kong newspaper editor in February 2014 have been sentenced to 19 years in jail.

Kevin Lau, the former chief editor of the Ming Pao newspaper, was attacked with a meat cleaver in the street.

The two attackers, Yip Kim-wah and Wong Chi-wah, showed no emotion as they were sentenced.

The assault prompted street protests by thousands of people complaining about media intimidation.

Justice Esther Toh told the court that the assault was "a brazen attack on the rule of law in Hong Kong."

Image source, DALE de la REY/AFP/Getty Images
Image caption,
Kevin Lau urged police to find out who ordered the attack

The two assailants told police they had each been paid HK$ 100,000 (£8,220; $12,900) to attack Lau.

However, they have always refused to say who ordered the attack.

Shortly before the attack, Mr Lau had been replaced by a Malaysian editor viewed as pro-Beijing, sparking fears among staff that the paper's independence was under threat.

Ming Pao is a respected Chinese-language Hong Kong paper known for its investigative reporting.

Image source, Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images
Image caption,
The attack led to protests in Hong Kong in February last year