Crime & Justice

Hong Kong court rejects bail for media tycoon Jimmy Lai once again

Hong Kong, Feb 18 (efe-epa).- The Hong Kong High Court on Thursday rejected another bail petition of media tycoon Jimmy Lai, a well-known critic of the Communist Party of China, who is in prison on charges linked to the national security law that Beijing has imposed on the city.

The court on Thursday confirmed the decision after Lai’s lawyers had appealed against the bail being rejected, and the businessman will now remain in custody until a judge decides about his alleged involvement in an “illegal” demonstration during the protests that rocked the city in 2019, local media reported.

In December, a lower court had granted bail to Lai with multiple conditions, but the territory’s top court revoked the decision on an appeal by prosecutors using the controversial national security law.

The tycoon faces multiple charges such as colluding with foreign forces and endangering national security.

Moreover, he was also accused of fraud in relation to a business lease in another court, which led o him being sent to preventive custody.

On Wednesday, despite already being in prison, he was re-arrested for allegedly helping one of the 12 Hong Kong citizens captured in China in 2020 while trying to flee to Taiwan.

Since coming into effect on Jun. 30, 2020, the national security law – designed and imposed by Beijing – has been used for multiple police raids and arrests of activists, forcing many critics of the government to go into self-exile to avoid persecution for activities which could be termed criminal under the new legislation.

According to Amnesty International, to date more than 10,000 people have been arrested in connection with the 2019 protests and more than 2,000 have faced prosecution on charges such as “rioting,” “illegal assembly” and “possession of weapons.” EFE-EPA


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