Hong Kong Media Tycoon Jimmy Lai Sent Back to Jail Under Security Law

Date: 2021-02-09 03:12:49

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Hong Kong’s highest court has kept media tycoon Jimmy Lai in jail under a China-imposed national security law, while approving the government’s appeal against a lower court’s decision to release him on bail.

The Court of Final Appeal ruled on Tuesday that Lai be remanded in custody. The top court had already sent the Next Digital Ltd. founder back to jail on Dec. 31 to give judges time consider the case after the government challenged a lower court’s decision to release him into house arrest.

The ruling is a victory for Chinese authorities, who had sought Lai’s immediate detention under a security law enacted last year. The People’s Daily newspaper, a mouthpiece for the Chinese central government, had blasted the earlier decision to release Lai, warning that the case could be transferred to the mainland courts.

The case “will be quite significant as the court will need to give some general guidance on how courts should approach the interpretation of the NSL even though it will confine its attention to the issue of granting bail,” Simon Young, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong, said before the hearing.

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