Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai has been denied bail following his arrest for alleged fraud.

He is set to remain behind bars until the next court date in April, 2021.

Jimmy Lai. Photo: StandNews.

RTHK and Now News reported that Lai, 73, and two other Next Digital executives were formally charged in connection to the use of Next Digital’s headquarters in Tseung Kwan O.

Lai, along with director Royston Chow and administrative director Wong Wai-keung, were detained overnight after reporting to a police station on Wednesday. They appeared at West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday morning.

They stand accused of using the offices for purposes not allowed in the building lease.

Apple Daily’s office in Tseung Kwan O. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP

Lai – founder of the pro-democracy Apple Daily – was denied bail as the judge ruled he may abscond or reoffend. Chow, meanwhile, was granted bail of HK$200,000 and Wong was granted bail of HK$100,000, Ming Pao reported.

In August, police raided the newspaper’s headquarters and arrested top executives – including Lai – for suspected “collusion with foreign forces” under the newly-imposed national security law. None have yet been charged.

Thursday’s case was heard by security law-designated judge Victor So, and was adjourned to April 16 next year.


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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.