UPDATED Mon, Dec 18 2023 The trial of Jimmy Lai, founder of Apple Daily newspaper and three related companies, on national security charges is set to begin tomorrow in Hong Kong. Expected to last around 80 days, it is one of the most closely watched trials under the city's controversial security law.
While housed at the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts, the case is categorised as a High Court proceeding. Some Apple Daily executives who earlier pleaded guilty will act as prosecution witnesses against Lai. The veteran publisher's legal team includes senior counsels Philip Dykes and Clive Grossman. Security has been tightened considerably given the level of public interest. Aside from the main courtroom, two other courts and an extension area on the fourth floor will allow virtual observation. Around 300 public gallery passes have been made available in total. Prosecutor Anthony Chiu will lead the case for the prosecution.
Jimmy Lai, founder of the now-closed pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper, will face trial next week over national security charges in Hong Kong. The trial has been long-delayed. Lai faces charges of violating sweeping security laws imposed by Beijing on Hong Kong after anti-government protests in 2019. He faces a potential life sentence if convicted over offences linked to the Beijing-imposed security legislation. His newspaper was forced to shut down last year after hundreds of officers raided its newsroom and Lai's assets were frozen under the new legislation. He has emerged as one of the most high-profile figures to face prosecution under the controversial laws.