Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying has been remanded in custody for a second time, after the city’s top court granted permission for prosecutors to appeal against his HK$10 million bail amid national security law proceedings.
73 year old Lai Chee was granted bail just before Christmas and had spent 20 days behind bars.
The media tycoon appeared at the Court of Final Appeal on Thursday ,as prosecutors sought to overturn the High Court’s decision last week to place him under house arrest pending trial on charges of colluding with foreign powers and fraud.
Thursday’s hearing is the first court case stemming from the Beijing-imposed legislation placed before the top court since the law took effect on June 30.
Beijing imposed the legislation on the former British colony in June that critics say aims to crush dissent and erode freedoms in the semi-autonomous, Chinese-ruled city – charges that authorities in Hong Kong and China reject.
Mr. Lai, a critic of Beijing who had been a frequent visitor to Washington, is widely believed to be a target of the new legislation.
He was the first defendant to win court bail after being charged with breaking the security law, with state media sharply criticising the decision, warning that mainland Chinese authorities could take over the case.