Hong Kong’s highest court on Tuesday denied bail to Catholic media tycoon Jimmy Lai, whom police arrested last summer for apparent violations of a new China-imposed national security law.
Lai, an entrepreneur and billionaire, is perhaps the most high-profile detainee under the new law, which Beijing imposed directly on the island territory on July 1, 2020.
A band of nearly 200 police officers arrested Lai on Aug. 10, 2020, along with at least nine others connected to Apple Daily, the newspaper Lai founded in 1995, as part of an apparent crackdown on civil liberties in Hong Kong.
Lai initially was released on bail, before being taken into custody again several months later.
Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal on Feb. 9 unanimously denied Lai bail in the case before them, but left open the possibility that Lai’s legal team could make a “fresh application” for bail.
Hong Kong’s National Security Law is broad in its definitions of terrorism, sedition, and foreign collusion. Under the law, a person who is convicted of the aforementioned crimes will receive a minimum of 10 years in prison, with the possibility of a life sentence.
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