By ZEN SOO
HONG KONG (AP) — A trial has begun for Hong Kong tycoon Jimmy Lai and seven other pro-democracy activists over their roles in an unauthorized Tiananmen vigil, amid a crackdown on political dissent in Hong Kong. Police last year banned the annual vigil for the first time in three decades, citing public health risks from the coronavirus pandemic. Critics believe the ban is part of the crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong following months of anti-government protests in 2019. Some of the defendants pleaded guilty Monday and will enter mitigation pleas next week. Lai was among the defendants who pleaded not guilty. The charges include organizing, participating and inciting others to take part in the vigil.