The media mogul Jimmy Lai and six other former staff members of the defunct pro-democracy newspaper ‘Apple Daily’ will face an additional charge of sedition as they face trial under national security law.
Lai, 74, founder of the pro-democracy newspaper ‘Apple Daily’, appeared in West Kowloon district court on Tuesday along with six other former employees, after which Magistrate Peter Law has decided to add an additional position . In this sense, the group now is accused of conspiring, together with the brands of ‘Apple Daily’, of “printing, publishing, selling, offering for sale, distributing, displaying and / or reproducing seditious publications”, according to the newspaper ‘Hong Kong Free Press’.
The seven defendants have been convicted for their intention to “generate hatred or contempt or provoke discontent against the Central Authorities.”
Among the defendants are the former CEO of Next Digital, the parent company of ‘Apple Daily’, Cheung Kim Hung; former ‘Apple Daily’ editor-in-chief Ryan Law; former deputy editor, Chan Pui Man; former CEO Lam Man Chung; the former editor-in-chief of the English news section, Fung Wai Kong, and the former editorial editor, Yeung Ching Kee.
The newspaper ‘Apple Daily’, owned of the Hong Kong opposition magnate It closed its operations in Taiwan at the beginning of the month in what is the final blow to its media empire, dissolved by the Chinese authorities for violating a controversial regulation denounced by dissidents as a campaign of oppression.
Lai, founder of the Next Digital conglomerate that owns the newspaper, he is now in jail for participating in the unauthorized protests held in 2018 and 2019 in Hong Kong against Chinese intervention in the judicial autonomy of the territory – finally translated into a controversial security law that the opposition understood as a tool to persecute dissidents.
Until its last printed edition, the newspaper was one of the most popular in Hong Kong. However, the decision on its closure was made after a columnist – Li Ping – was arrested on suspicion of “conspiracy to conspire with foreign countries or foreign forces to endanger national security,” according to authorities.