A Hong Kong court declared media tycoon and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai not guilty of criminal intimidation on Thursday (September 3)
It brings to an end one of several cases currently against him, after his high-profile arrest last month under a controversial new Chinese national security law.
The verdict for this case dated back to a 2017 incident and was unrelated to his recent arrest.
Lai has been an outspoken critic of Beijing and had been accused of using foul language when confronting a reporter from Oriental Daily News, a major competitor to Lai’s tabloid Apple Daily.
Prosecutors in the case said Lai had intimidated the Oriental Daily reporter.
However, his lawyers argued that Lai had been followed by reporters for three years and his comments were not intended to harm the reporter, but only to express his exasperation.
Frequent visits to the United States and meetings with senior Washington figures has led to Lai being labelled a "traitor" by China.
After his August arrest, around 200 police officers searched offices of the Apple Daily newspaper.
Lai is also facing separate court cases for illegal assembly relating to anti-government protests last year.