HONG KONG – Jimmy Lai, the publishing president and a leading critic of the Communist Party of China, has been accused of collaborating with foreign forces under Hong Kong’s National Security Act, police said Friday, as the intensification of efforts to provoke staggering support for the city of Beijing.
The highest person regularly charged under the Security Act is Mr. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.
The 73-year-old was arrested in August on suspicion of violating a major security law imposed by Beijing on Hong Kong in June. Even the police Mr. Loyalty newspaper checked into Apple Daily headquarters, Is one of the last remaining anti-Beijing publications in the city.
Mr. to punish China for eroding independence in Hong Kong. He moved to the United States last year Meet the authorities Including Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He also called for an embargo on Chinese officials.
It is not clear what the police say he did specifically to violate the security law. As written, the law should not be repeated. Since it was imposed, Mr. said He will be very careful about his words.
More than two dozen people have been arrested under the operation. Tony Chung, 19, was charged under one law with insulting the Chinese national flag and participating in an illegal assembly last year. A separate case is pending on the charges under the National Security Law Inquiry.
Mr. Loy was already in prison Bail is denied on unrelated fraud charges, A decision he appeals to. But since the charge under the National Security Act empowers the defendants to remain without bail, it is unlikely that he will be released.
Mr. The law also changes the legal terrain for Loyalty. Defendants can be interrogated in the mainland of China, where the legal system is significantly more opaque than in Hong Kong.
Mr. Although Lai is being investigated in Hong Kong, the Defense Act empowers the Beijing-elected city chief executive to appoint special judges, and the trial can be held behind closed doors.
Mr. Loy is scheduled to appear in court Saturday, police said.
Mr. Loy and his newspaper, the Apple Daily, have been vocal in the anti-government protests that rocked Hong Kong for months over the past year, and have posed the toughest challenge to Beijing’s rule over the region for decades.
Mr. Lai’s activity has been a frequent target of the Chinese Communist Party, which has officially denounced him and pro – Beijing newspapers in Hong Kong.
“By openly collaborating with outside forces to endanger national security, Jimmy Lai and some anti-Chinese activists in Hong Kong have deliberately undermined the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and the basic well-being of its citizens,” a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong said in a statement on Monday.
Pro-democracy protests have been suppressed this year by social exclusion rules, aggressive police tactics and the new security law. Last month, Beijing gave a blow to the last seats for political opposition in Hong Kong, authorizing the removal of four pro-democracy legislators from the city legislature.
The pro-democracy camp largely opposed the move by resigning from the legislature.