A Hong Kong radio host – who is already behind bars awaiting trial for sedition – has been hit with a raft of new money laundering charges and an added count of plotting with others to commit a seditious act.
Popular host Edmund Wan Yiu-sing – who is better known as DJ Giggs – appeared at West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on Monday and was charged with five counts of money laundering, involving over HK$11 million. He was also charged with conspiring to commit “an act with a seditious intention,” according to local media reports.
The fresh charges come on top of four earlier counts of ”doing an act with a seditious intention” levelled against the radio host in February following his arrest by police officers from the national security department.
Wan, 52, who remains in custody awaiting trial, now faces a total of 10 charges. Department of Justice prosecutors have brought all the sedition-related counts under a law which dates back to the days when Hong Kong was under British colonial rule.
Stand News reported that he was accused of handling properties that he knew – or had reasonable belief that – “in whole or in part directly or indirectly represents any person’s proceeds of an indictable offence” last year.
Wan was arrested in November 2020 on suspicion of providing pecuniary or other financial assistance or property for the commission of secession – a violation of the national security law.
Last February – via his website and on social media – the radio host called for donations to support the living expenses of Hong Kong protesters, who had travelled to seek refuge and study in Taiwan.
Wan’s assistant, Lee Po-lai, was also charged with money laundering on Monday, for conspiring with Wan last year to allegedly “knowingly or with reasonable suspicion” handling the proceeds of an indictable offence.
Colonial sedition law
At an earlier court hearing Wan was accused of hosting, making, publishing, and uploading online programmes in an attempt to incite hate or contempt against the Chinese government or the Hong Kong government, or “to excite disaffection.”
The sedition charges are broadly defined in Hong Kong’s Crimes Ordinance which was last amended in 1972, when the city was still under British colonial rule.
Wan was denied bail following his arrest in February after the prosecution cited a landmark judgement by the city’s top court, which resulted in the revocation of a HK$10 million cash bail extended to pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai.
The radio host, who did not seek bail, will appear in court again on July 5. His assistant, Lee, was granted a cash bail of HK$290,000.