authorities deny tycoon Jimmy Lai the right to a British lawyer - THECHOWANIECS.COM

authorities deny tycoon Jimmy Lai the right to a British lawyer

Hong Kong’s executive has denied imprisoned media mogul Jimmy Lai the right to be represented by a British lawyer during his upcoming trial, it was learned on Friday (September 30th) from a court.

Jimmy Lai and executives of Apple Daily, a newspaper critical of Chinese power that was forced to close, are being sued for “collusion with foreign forces“. The offense is punishable by life in prison under the national security law imposed in 2020 by Beijing on Hong Kong to end all dissent.

Lawyers in jurisdictions under the legal system modeled on the “common lawBritish companies have the right to practice in Hong Kong, in particular in the event that their specific expertise may be required. High Court Judge Alex Lee on Friday confirmed that the government and the City Bar both opposed Jimmy Lai’s request to be represented by a lawyer from London. Neither the Ministry of Justice nor the bar wanted to comment on this. A lawyer for Jimmy Lai, Robert Pang, told AFP on Friday that he hoped the dispute over legal representation would be resolved before the trial, scheduled for early December.

Jimmy Lai, 74, is one of Hong Kong’s best-known pro-democracy activists. His newspaper was forced to close last year after authorities froze its assets under the 2020 law. Six executives from his Apple Daily tabloid have said they intend to plead guilty, but Jimmy Lai said he would challenge the charges against him. In August, the Minister of Justice announced that the tycoon would be tried by three magistrates chosen by the executive and not by a jury, which constitutes a real break with the legal tradition of the city.

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