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UPDATE: Jimmy Lai reapplies for bail to HK High Court, set to be heard next Wed

作者:admin 2020-12-16



UPDATE: Jimmy Lai reapplies for bail to HK High Court, set to be heard next Wed

Jimmy Lai Chee-ying arrives at the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts in Hong Kong, China, May 18, 2020. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)



Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, the notorious Hong Kong media tycoon who faces a series of criminal charges including fraud and collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security, has applied for bail again after being denied twice. He has applied directly to the High Court, and is scheduled to be heard on December 23, Hong Kong media reported. 

Lai was denied bail twice in December.  He has been remanded in custody since December 3 and faces further detention until his fraud case is heard in April. Lai was denied bail in his fraud case on December 3, and planned to reapply for bail on Tuesday. However, he was slapped with another charge of colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security on December 12, and was denied bail on the same day. 

The lawyer representing Lai has said he will ask for a postponement of the scheduled hearing, hoping that the High Court will deal with the bail applications in both cases together. His bail application hearing is set for next week. 

Experts familiar with Hong Kong's judicial affairs said the previous denials of Lai's bail were a legal decision based on Lai's involvement in multiple cases, as there is the risk that he might flee the city, given his connections with foreign countries. 

Based on these reasons, the prosecution will still oppose Lai's current application, especially given Lai's close ties with absconding secessionists like Ted Hui, and his multiple felony cases. Lai's chances of being granted bail this time are slim, Kennedy Wong Ying-ho, solicitor of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong, told the Global Times.

Some reports say Lai's case could be transferred to the mainland for trial. According to Li Xiaobing, an expert on Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan from Nankai University in Tianjin, this possibility cannot be ruled out.

"According to the national security law, the channel for such cases to be transferred to the mainland for trial is always open," Li noted, "For now, the Hong Kong judicial system can complete the process of collecting evidence and raising charges independently. However, if there are situations such as threats against judges or foreign interference that could affect the independence of the trial in Hong Kong, the case can be taken over by the mainland at any time."

If convicted, Lai could face a sentence of life in prison. 

Global Times



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