Tuesday 23 February 2021 10:49 am

Hong Kong media tycoon denied bail in landmark security law case

A Hong Kong court denied media tycoon Jimmy Lai bail on Tuesday due to the risk of him committing further offences.

The case is being closely watched as it shows how Hong Kong’s independent judiciary resolves conflicts between the security law drafted in Beijing.

Read more: Hong Kong pro-democracy tycoon Jimmy Lai detained following fraud charge

Guilty until proven innocent

New legislation puts the duty on the defendant to prove they would not be a national security threat while on bail.

Traditionally, Hong Kong’s common legal system put the onus on the prosecution to prove its case.

Lai is the most high-profile person charged under the draconian national security law.

He was arrested in August last year on suspicion of conspiracy with foreign forces.

Around 200 police officers raided the newsroom of his Apple Daily tabloid newspaper.

Read more: Boris Johnson ‘deeply concerned’ by Jimmy Lai arrest

Lai was arrested again last week, while in jail, for allegedly assisting a Chinese fugitive captured at sea in 2020.

High Court judge Anthea Pang said: “I am not satisfied that there are sufficient grounds for believing that the applicant will not continue to commit acts endangering national security if bail is granted to him.”

Read more: Review into Hong Kong’s only independent broadcaster sparks media freedom concerns