By Johannes Eisele
BBC News, Hong Kong
The court described the actions of the defendants as “condoned”
The verdicts in the trial of four Hong Kong businessmen were delivered at the High Court in the city’s Kowloon district.
The four men, hired by Beijing to gather information on dissidents, were found guilty of incitement to subversion.
The trial, which lasted more than a year, was prompted by 2005’s “Half Moon Square” democracy protest against China’s control over Hong Kong.
The protesters were demanding more democracy in the semiautonomous city, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
Mr Chan Kuok-sing, 76, was convicted of four charges under the Public Security Ordinance.
Four other co-defendants, Hong Kong businessman Yeung Kwok-hing, who is 65, and Wang Dong-hui, Bernard Khoo and Cheng Hui-hang, were found guilty of incitement to subversion.
The convictions, which can carry up to 14 years in prison, now go to the territory’s Court of Final Appeal.
Activists from the now disbanded Committee to Defend the Chinese Constitution (CDP) were expected to rally outside the court after the verdicts were delivered.