Hong Kong pro-democracy tycoon Jimmy Lai pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 2 counts of conspiring to collude with international forces and one depend of publishing “seditious” supplies, based on Hong Kong Free Press. Conspiring to collude with international forces violates the National Security Law, and publishing “seditious” supplies violates the sedition law.
Lai has been detained since December 2020. He’s at the moment serving a sentence of virtually six years for fraud fees and a 20-month jail sentence for taking part in a vigil that commemorated the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Sq. bloodbath. Lai could also be sentenced to life imprisonment if he’s convicted of all three counts.
Prosecutor Anthony Chau mentioned that Lai took benefit of his media enterprise to ask international governments to impose sanctions towards the Hong Kong and Chinese language governments, beneath the guise of freedom and democracy. The prosecution additionally asserted that Lai had political connections with international figures, corresponding to former US Deputy Secretary of Protection Paul Wolfowitz, former US Military Common Jack Keane and former Hong Kong Consul Common James Cunningham.
As well as, the prosecution said that Lai advised Fox Enterprise in a Could 2020 interview that it was “the time to confront China,” and that Lai additionally advised the BBC that he was anticipating former US president Donald Trump to impose “actually critical sanctions” on Hong Kong and Chinese language authorities.
Chau additionally asserted that Apple Every day, a media firm based by Lai, revealed content material that meant to name upon Hong Kong’s public to take part within the 2019 Hong Kong protests. He identified that Lai revealed an op-ed on Apple Every day, writing that Hong Kong individuals should “resist and combat to the tip.”
Lai’s trial continues on Wednesday and is anticipated to final 80 days. On December 22, Hong Kong’s Excessive Courtroom ruled towards Lai find that the court docket had jurisdiction to listen to his sedition cost. Lai’s counsel argued that the court docket lacked jurisdiction because the prosecution exceeded its six-month time restrict to press the cost pursuant to part 11 of the Crimes Ordinance. Nonetheless, the court docket held that the prosecution didn’t exceed the time restrict as Lai’s conspiracy to sedition was a seamless act. On December 18, the Hong Kong authorities wrote that it’s inappropriate to touch upon Lai’s case. The federal government additionally highlighted that each one defendants will obtain honest trials based mostly on proof and in accordance with the regulation.