HK$10 million bail is granted by Hong Kong court to media tycoon Jimmy Lai. Seventy-three-year-old Lai has been in custody since December 3 after charged under Hong Kong’s new national security law that lets the state doubt any individual for bumping into foreign forces.
Lai’s Next Media Group is contemplated as one of the crucial strongholds of media freedom. Lai’s institution has been passionately criticizing Beijing. For which, Lai was arrested in August after his newsroom of Apple Dialy tabloid was raided by around 200 police officers. The appeal made by the prosecution, in this case, was denied immediately.
The point that is to be noted in this case and many others is how the Hong Kong security law runs on Beijing’s definition. Be it secession, subversion, terrorism, or collusion with foreign forces, the person involved in any of such acts would end his or her life in jail.
Despite the claiming of authorities in Hong Kong and Beijing in the defense of this law, it has been declared reprehensible by the west and human rights groups for crushing dissent in a “half” Chinese-ruled city.
According to this law, it is on the defendant, which in this case in Lai, to prove that he would not be a national security threat if released on bail. Whereas under Hong Kong’s common law-based legal system, it is the opposite. The prosecution needs to prove its charges and hence the complete case.
The bailing terms of Lai will not let him meet any foreign officials, give out interviews, or publish any articles on social media. He’d have to remain under house arrest and all his travel documents will remain with the government officials.