One Media Hong Kong founder Lai Chi-ying was earlier charged with fraud and was denied bail and remanded in custody pending trial, and was later charged with “colluding with a foreign state or foreign forces to endanger national security” under the Hong Kong National Security Law, also without bail, and the cases were adjourned until April 16 next year. He then applied to the High Court for bail in both cases, which was handled by Judge Lee Yun-teng, who was appointed by the National Security Law. Judge Lee ruled on Dec. 23 that Lai should be granted bail in cash at $10 million. After the judge granted bail, the prosecution said it would appeal to the Court of Final Appeal, and applied for the defendant to be detained during the appeal, which is now temporarily adjourned.
According to a report in Apple Daily on Wednesday, the judge granted Lai Chi-ying bail pending his arraignment on a total of $10 million in cash and $300,000 in personnel, provided that he does not directly or indirectly engage in any conduct that could be construed as requesting a foreign state or foreign agency, organization or person to impose sanctions, blockade or take other hostile action against the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or the People’s Republic of China, i.e., not to meet with foreign officials, receive television, radio or online interviews, or post postings, comments and messages in paper form or online, including but not limited to Twitter. Meanwhile, after being released on bail, Lai must reside at his reported address and must not leave his residence except to report to the police station and to appear in court. He is also prohibited from leaving Hong Kong, is required to surrender his travel documents, and reports to the police station three times a week.
It is reported that the prosecution requested to cross-examine Lai Chi-ying’s three personnel guarantors, the defense requested to be conducted in the form of chambers, now adjourned to clear the court. It is known that the three are Cardinal Joseph Zen, Bishop Emeritus, lawyer Albert Ho and Hong Kong Baptist University visiting professor Wu Mingde. According to the report, Lai Chi-ying, 73, was represented by senior barrister Tang Lok-kan. The prosecution continued to be represented by Senior Assistant Attorney General Chow Tin-hang of the Department of Justice. After learning the result of the ruling, Chow Tin-hang immediately said, invoking section 35 of the Court of Final Appeal Ordinance, will appeal, and apply for the defendant to be detained during the appeal, the court is now temporarily adjourned. Under section 35 of the Court of Final Appeal Ordinance, the Court of Appeal or the Court of First Instance may, on application by the prosecutor, make an order providing for the continued detention of the defendant pending appeal to the Court of Final Appeal, or directing that the defendant be released on bail during the said period, after the prosecutor has been granted leave to appeal or has expressed an intention to apply for leave to appeal.
On the same day, Lai’s family, friends and colleagues showed up in court to support him, including his two sons Lai See-yan and Lai Yiu-yan, Next Media CEO Cheung Kin-hung, Apple Daily Vice President Chan Pui-man, Chief Editor Lo Wai-kwong, former Hong Kong Next Magazine President Yeung Wai-hong, Bishop Emeritus Cardinal Joseph Zen Yat-kwan, Albert Ho, Lee Wing-tat, Wu Chi-wai, Lee Cheuk-yan, Leung Kwok-hung and Ng Man-yuen. The report said that when Lai stepped into the courtroom, family and friends waved hello to Lai, who made a heart-shaped gesture to them.