Outspoken Hong Kong pro-democracy urge and press tycoon Jimmy Lai was denied bond on Thursday on a fraud charge amid an increasing crackdown on dissent from the semi-autonomous city.
Jimmy Lai of Next Digital, which arouses the Apple Daily newspaper, was among 10 people arrested Aug. 10 about what authorities said was the feeling of breaking up federal safety legislation and collusion with a foreign nation.
Lai, 73, was afterward released on bond but authorities raided his firm’s offices in October and took off files.
On Wednesday, Lai and 2 adjoining Digital executives were charged with fraud accusations that they are broken lease provisions for the adjacent Digital office area.
Lai appeared in court Thursday and has been denied bond. His case was adjourned until April 16.
Hong Kong authorities said in a statement Wednesday it had detained three men on charges of fraud, without naming them. Also, it stated that one of these was suspected of breaking up the federal security legislation, which was under investigation.
Beijing enforced the national safety law in reaction to protests from Hong Kong which started in June 2019 above a projected extradition law and enlarged to include requirements for increased democracy in the former British colony.
The sweeping laws prompted more people protests and led to complaints which Beijing is breaking up the freedom guaranteed to Hong Kong as it returned to China and damaging its standing as a business center.
Apple Daily criticized the legislation on its front page on July 1, calling it the”final nail in the coffin” of their territory’s independence.
The British authorities had slammed Lai’s August arrest and stated the safety law was used to crush dissent.
The legislation is”being executed in a manner that undermines freedom of speech,” the British government stated in a report this month about the standing of the 1984 arrangement for Hong Kong’s return to China.
“It is very important that this liberty is respected,” the report stated.