Hong Kong Tycoon Jimmy Lai Denied Another Bid for Bail in National Security Case

by akoloy

HONG KONG—Hong Kong’s High Court denied one other bail software on Thursday to media tycoon and Beijing critic Jimmy Lai., essentially the most high-profile particular person to be charged underneath the Chinese-ruled metropolis’s national safety regulation.

The Court of Final Appeal dominated final week {that a} decrease courtroom’s determination final yr to grant him bail utilized “an erroneous line of reasoning,” however allowed Lai’s crew to make a brand new software for bail to the High Court.

The High Court stated it’ll publish its causes for rejecting Thursday’s software at a later date.

Under the brand new regulation, the onus is on the defendant to show they’d not be a nationwide safety menace if launched on bail. Under Hong Kong’s frequent law-based authorized system, the onus has historically been on the prosecution to show its case.

Lai has been in custody since Dec. 3, apart from when he was launched for a couple of week final yr earlier than his bail was appealed by the prosecutors and subsequently overturned.

He was arrested in August when about 200 law enforcement officials raided the newsroom of his Apple Daily tabloid newspaper.

Jimmy Lai arrested
Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai (R), who based native newspaper Apple Daily, is arrested by law enforcement officials at his house in Hong Kong, on Aug. 10, 2020. (AP Photo)

The tabloid and different media reported on Wednesday that Lai, whereas in jail, had been arrested once more, on suspicion of helping a fugitive China captured at sea final yr.

Beijing imposed the nationwide safety regulation on the previous British colony final June after months of pro-democracy protests. The regulation punishes something China considers subversion, secession, terrorism, or collusion with international forces with as much as life in jail.

Critics say it’s geared toward crushing dissent and it erodes freedoms within the semi-autonomous monetary hub. Its supporters say it restores stability after months of unrest.

Prosecutors have accused Lai of breaching the regulation over statements he made on July 30 and Aug. 18, through which they allege he requested international interference in Hong Kong’s affairs.

Lai has been a frequent customer to Washington, assembly with officers, together with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to rally help for Hong Kong democracy, prompting Beijing to label him a “traitor.”

Lai stepped down final yr as chairman of Next Digital, which publishes Apple Daily.

By Jessie Pang

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