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Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai has his bail revoked over national security charges


#Hong #Kong’s highest court has revoked media tycoon #Jimmy #Lai’s bail after prosecutors succeeded in asking judges to send him back to detention.

#Mr #Lai had been granted bail on #December 23 after three weeks in custody on charges of fraud and endangering national security. #His appeal hearing is slated for #February 1.

The court said on #Thursday that it was “reasonably arguable” that the previous judge’s decision was erroneous and that the order of granting bail was invalid.

#Mr #Lai is among a string of pro-democracy activists and supporters arrested by #Hong #Kong police in recent months as authorities step up their crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous #Chinese territory.

#He was charged with fraud on #December 3 for allegedly violating the lease terms for office space for #Next #Digital, the media company he founded.

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#He was later charged again on #December 12 under the sweeping national security law imposed by #Beijing on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces and endangering national security.

#Mr #Lai entered the #Court of #Final #Appeal without making any comments to supporters and media, many of whom swarmed the tycoon as he made his way into the courtroom.

#His bail conditions included surrendering his travel documents and a ban on meeting with foreign officials, publishing articles on any media, posting on social media and giving interviews.

#Mr #Lai, with pro-democracy protesters #Ricky #Or and #Alex #Kwok, has been an advocate for democracy in #Hong #Kong for several years.(#Reuters: #Tyrone #Siu)

#Chinese state-owned newspaper #People’s #Daily posted a strongly worded commentary on #Sunday criticising the court for granting bail to #Mr #Lai, stating that it “severely hurt #Hong #Kong’s rule of law”.

The #People’s #Daily said it would not be difficult for #Mr #Lai to abscond, and called him “notorious and extremely dangerous”.

#It also warned that #China could take over the case, according to #Article 55 of the national security law, which states that #China can “exercise jurisdiction over a case concerning offence endangering national security”.

#Hong #Kong’s judiciary on #Tuesday uploaded a 19-page judgment on its website, laying out the reasons why #High #Court #Judge #Justice #Alex #Lee had granted #Mr #Lai bail.

#Justice #Lee said he was satisfied there was no flight risk in #Mr #Lai’s case, and noted that #Mr #Lai was willing to have his movements monitored if it had been a feasible option.

#On #Tuesday, #Mr #Lai resigned as chairman and executive director of #Next #Digital, which runs the #Apple #Daily newspaper, according to a filing made to the #Hong #Kong stock exchange.

#He did so “to spend more time dealing with his personal affairs” and confirmed that he had no disagreement with the board of directors, the filing said.

AP



[ source link ]
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-01/hong-kong-media-tycoon-jimmy-lai-has-his-bail-revoked/13025690

##Hong ##Kong #media #tycoon ##Jimmy ##Lai #bail #revoked #national #security #charges

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