Hong Kong tycoon Jimmy Lai to plead not responsible in nationwide safety case

Hong Kong tycoon Jimmy Lai to plead not responsible in nationwide safety case

The founding father of Apple Day by day, Jimmy Lai, will stand trial with no jury in Hong Kong, after he advised a court docket he would plead not responsible to nationwide safety prices.

On Monday, prosecutors advised a case administration listening to that Lai would problem the accusations however six fellow executives and supervisor from the now-defunct Apple Day by day or its mother or father firm, Subsequent Digital, supposed to plead responsible.

A responsible plea often entitles defendants to a sentence discount. If discovered responsible of the nationwide safety prices, Lai faces as much as life in jail.

Lai, 74, a distinguished media mogul and pro-democracy activist, is serving time on protest-related offences. He’ll face a court docket panel of three judges handpicked by the Hong Kong authorities, underneath legal guidelines launched by Beijing, which moved nationwide safety instances away from Hong Kong’s long-established jury trial system.

The biggest nationwide safety trial to this point, of 47 distinguished democracy activists, will even be heard with no jury, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported final week.

A duplicate of the judge-only trial order for Lai, seen by AFP, cited the “involvement of overseas components” within the case, the “private security of jurors and their members of the family” and the “threat of perverting the course of justice if the trial is carried out with a jury”.

The transfer to judge-only trials are amongst quite a few issues being raised by worldwide authorized observers about adjustments to Hong Kong’s authorized system.

Lai, the six executives and three firms are accused of crimes underneath the nationwide safety legislation launched in 2020, and anti-sedition legal guidelines which have sat on the books since Hong Kong was a British colony however have been more and more utilized by present authorities.

Prosecutors say the defendants conspired to hunt overseas sanctions or different hostile actions in opposition to Hong Kong and Beijing, in breach of the nationwide safety legal guidelines.

Lai additionally faces separate however related prices in opposition to him over interviews and editorials, and for allegedly serving to activist Andy Li try to flee Hong Kong. Li and 11 others had been captured by Chinese language authorities who intercepted their boat off the coast of Hong Kong.

Critics of the nationwide safety legislation – which broadly criminalises behaviour as secession, sedition, overseas collusion, or terrorism – say it has been used to crush dissent within the metropolis and convey it underneath the management of Beijing a long time earlier than a 50-year promise of autonomy expired.

Supply hyperlink