HONG KONG — Hong Kong police are investigating after small firebombs were thrown at the home and business of a pro-democracy media magnate in an apparent intimidation attempt.
Surveillance video showed a car backing up to the gates of Jimmy Lai's home early Monday and an attacker getting out and throwing what looks to be a Molotov cocktail before driving off.
At about the same time, another incendiary device was thrown from a car at the entrance to his Next Media company. Its publications include the flagship pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper.
No one was injured and the small fires burned out quickly. The cars used in the attacks were later found burned out and stripped of their license plates, according to local media reports.
Lai is well known as a critic of Beijing and a staunch supporter of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement, which occupied streets for 11 weeks last year to press their demands for free elections. He was among the thousands of protesters who were tear gassed by police as the protest movement erupted in September.
"The goal is intimidation," said Next Media spokesman Mark Simon of Monday's attacks. He said they were a "continuation of the attacks against Mr. Lai and Next Media for its editorial position, which is at odds with the anti-democracy forces."
Lai was one of the many people arrested by police when they moved in to shut the protest camps down in December. Not long before that he had stepped down as chairman of Next, citing family and personal reasons, but remains the controlling shareholder.
The protesters wanted free elections for the semiautonomous Chinese territory's leader in 2017. Backed by Beijing, Hong Kong's government plans for all candidates to be authorized by a pro-Beijing committee.