Hong Kong mogul Jimmy Lai denied bail in national security case By Reuters

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2/2 © Reuters. Media mogul Jimmy Lai, founder of Apple Daily, arrives at the Final Appeal Court in a prison van in Hong Kong 2/2

By James Pomfret HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s high court on Tuesday denied bail to media mogul and Beijing critic Jimmy Lai, the highest-profile person charged under the security law. national city. Lai had been in custody since December 3, except when he was released on bail for about a week at the end of last year. A lower court granted him a bond of 10 million Hong Kong dollars ($ 1.3 million) on December 23 only to be returned to custody by the CFA on December 31 for another hearing. following a government appeal. His return to custody was related in part to article 42 of the security law, which states that “no bail shall be granted to a criminal suspect or accused unless the judge has sufficient reason to believe that the criminal suspect or accused is not will continue to commit acts that endanger national security. ” On Tuesday, the five CFA judges said in a written ruling that the lower court applied a “wrong line of reasoning” and “misinterpreted” Article 42. The decision was unanimous. The judges said Lai’s team could make a “new request” for bail, as Tuesday’s decision was of a “limited nature”, focusing on how the lower court came to its decision, rather than whether Lai should be. rescued or not. Lai, dressed in a dark gray suit and sporting his signature haircut, stood impassively on the bench as the judges delivered their decision. Outside the court, a small number of pro-China protesters shouted “Imprison Jimmy Lai for life … safeguard the peace of Hong Kong” through a megaphone. Inside, Lai’s supporters chanted “Hang in there” and “Add oil,” a stimulus often used in Hong Kong. Lai was arrested in August when about 200 police officers raided the newsroom of his tabloid Apple (NASDAQ 🙂 Daily. Beijing imposed the broad national security law on the former British colony last June after months of pro-democracy protests. The law punishes anything that China considers subversion, secession, terrorism or collusion with foreign forces with up to life imprisonment. Critics say it aims to crush dissent and erode freedoms in the semi-autonomous city ruled by China. Supporters say it restores stability after months of unrest. Prosecutors have charged Lai with breaking the law for statements he made on July 30 and August 18, in which they allege that he requested foreign interference in Hong Kong affairs. Lai has been a frequent visitor to Washington, meeting with officials, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to rally support for Hong Kong’s democracy, prompting Beijing to label him a “traitor.” Under the new law, the defendant has the responsibility to show that he would not be a threat to national security if he were released on bail. Under Hong Kong’s common law-based legal system, the prosecution has traditionally been responsible for proving your case. “We have lost the right to be considered innocent until proven otherwise,” said Avery Ng, a pro-democracy activist in the courtroom facing illegal assembly charges related to mass anti-government and anti-China protests in 2019. last year as president of Next Digital, which publishes Apple Daily, a popular tabloid known for its energetic and critical coverage of China and Hong Kong. On the other hand, the national security trial of Tong Ying-kit, who allegedly collided with his motorcycle against police officers while waving a protest flag, will be carried out without a jury, AFP reported, citing a legal source.