Intellasia East Asia News – National security law: Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai’s two sons first to be released on bail, followed by Agnes Chow

Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai Chee-ying’s two sons were the first to be bailed on Tuesday following the arrest of several people after raids on the Hong Kong newspaper’s offices by police’s new national security unit, with former student activist Agnes Chow Ting similarly posting bail hours later.

Ian Lai Yiu-yan, 39, left Tseung Kwan O Police Station with his legal representative at around 7.30pm – 30 hours after he was arrested at his home in Clear Water Bay on suspicion of collusion with a foreign country or external element.

His older brother Timothy Lai Kin-yang, 42, who was arrested for conspiracy to defraud, made bail and left Cheung Sha Wan Police Station at around 10pm.

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They, their father and four others linked to the tabloid-style newspaper were arrested on Monday as police sent some 200 officers to the Tseung Kwan O premises of the company to conduct a raid that lasted nearly nine hours.

Chow, meanwhile, stepped out of Tai Po police station shortly after 11pm. She said she was bailed out on HK$20,000, and a surety of HK$180,000.

The court also granted approval to police to seize her Hong Kong passport. She must report to police next month.

She said police accused her of colluding with foreign forces via social media since July, just after the sweeping new national security law came into effect.

“It is political persecution and political suppression. I still don’t understand why I was arrested,” Chow said, adding that this case was “the most scary one” among the four she had faced so far.

“The political suppression is not only on me, but many Hong Kong people and activists.”

Cheung Kim-hung, CEO of Next Digital, was also bailed out at around 11.30pm. He was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud on Monday morning.

Jimmy Lai, the most high-profile arrest since the national security law was enacted on June 30, was freed shortly after midnight on Tuesday.

A police source said the group “would possibly be released on bail one by one” at night.

Legal sources said Wilson Li Chung-chak, a freelancer for ITV and former member of the now-disbanded student activist group Scholarism, and Andy Li, a member of the Election Observation Mission, would also be bailed out soon.

Monday’s dramatic events began just after 7am, when officers arrested Lai at his home in Ho Man Tin. That was followed by the detention of his two sons and four senior executives of Next Digital, the parent company of Lai’s newspaper.

Police accused the media mogul of collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security, uttering seditious words, and conspiracy to defraud.

On Monday afternoon, police also detained Chow, Wilson Li and Andy Li.

Jimmy Lai’s top aide, Mark Simon, who was not in the city at the time of the arrests, is also being sought by Hong Kong police.

The Post understands that the force also added US-based Samuel Chu, of the Hong Kong Democracy Council (HKDC), and another local man to the wanted list, as they were believed to be linked to the case.

Chu was already listed as a wanted person earlier this month, along with five other people, including activist Nathan Law Kwun-chung and former British consulate employee Simon Cheng Man-kit.

The group have been accused of inciting secession and collusion with foreign and external forces to endanger national security, according to a police source.

The arrests of Lai and the others came six weeks after Beijing imposed the controversial national security law, banning in broad terms acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.


Category: Hong Kong

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