A Hong Kong court docket has denied media tycoon Jimmy Lai bail on Thursday, detaining him till his April court docket listening to over a fraud cost associated to the unlawful use of his firm’s premises.
Lai was arrested by authorities earlier this 12 months below Hong Kong’s new nationwide safety regulation, and was later launched on bail. Nonetheless, throughout his trial on a separate fraud cost, the presiding choose ordered his detention over issues he’s an “absconding danger.”
Because the founding father of the Subsequent Digital media firm, Lai has used his place to create issues for Beijing, changing into more and more vital of China’s management and supportive of the pro-democracy protest motion in Hong Kong. He has rejected the claims from Chinese language authorities as “trumped up” fees however didn’t go into additional particulars as his court docket case has begun.
Critics of China have argued that the costs towards Lai have been levelled as a part of a crackdown on pro-democracy figures, citing the sentencing of activists Joshua Wong, Ivan Lam and Agnes Chow on Wednesday. Up to now, not less than 31 individuals have been arrested below the nationwide safety regulation and greater than 10,000 individuals have been detained over fees linked to the 2019 protest motion.
China rejects these claims and believes Lai is a “traitor” attributable to his common journeys to Washington DC, assembly with officers equivalent to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in addition to rallying supporters throughout final 12 months’s Hong Kong protests. His actions have led Beijing to accuse him of colluding with overseas forces and endangering nationwide safety, which carries a life sentence.
Whereas the Nationwide Safety Regulation and China’s current prosecutions have raised issues internationally a couple of potential assault on freedom of meeting and speech within the nation, Beijing has argued that the actions are essential to return stability to the realm and produce it in step with mainland China.
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