World Bulletin/News Desk
The home and former offices of Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai, an outspoken critic of Beijing who also played a prominent role in large pro-democracy protests last month, were firebombed early on Monday, a spokesman said.
The first attack took place around 1:30 a.m. local time (1730 GMT Sunday) when a car reversed up to Lai's house and threw an object that exploded into flames when it hit the gates.
About 20 minutes later, one or two other incendiary devices were thrown at the gates of pro-democracy Next Media Ltd .
Such acts will not be tolerated "no matter what social status or political background, or political views (of any individual)," Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen told reporters.
He said police will investigate the firebombing like any other criminal act.
Some feel that Hong Kong police don't always follow up fully on acts against the city's democrats or against Apple Daily, and that culprits are rarely found.
Hong Kong police confirmed they were looking into two incidents, one at a residence on Kadoorie Avenue in Kowloon and one at the offices of Next Media.
He was arrested for refusing to leave a pro-democracy protest site in central Hong Kong last month as police cleared protesters who had shut major thoroughfares in the city for two-and-a-half months.
A self-made millionaire, Lai is a long-time supporter of Hong Kong's democracy movement. This is not the first time he and Next have come under attack.
In 2013, masked men torched tens of thousands of copies of two Apple Daily editions at distribution points.
Last year, Next said HSBC Holdings and Standard Chartered pulled millions of dollars worth of advertising from Apple Daily after being pressured by Beijing, decisions both banks said were commercial.
Lai's home has also been attacked before, including being rammed by a car and having a machete, axe, and threatening messages left in his driveway.