He trial against pro-democracy activist and media mogul Hong Kong Jimmy Lai this was resumed Tuesday in the former british colony with a hearing in which he officially declared himself innocent of the three charges that are charged in relation to the National security and for those who could face life imprisonment.
He Kowloon West District Court welcomed the Tuesday the opening speech of the Prosecutor’s Officeafter rejecting a last attempt by the legal team of The I to dismiss the sedition charge that weighs on him.
After a ten day breakthe accused arrived at court in a vehicle Hong Kong Department of Correctional Services around 7:30 a.m. local time (23:30 GMT) Monday), amid a strong police presence in the vicinity of the building.
This one Tuesday It was the fourth day of a process which is expected to last for at least eighty days and that has generated a strong international interest.
Once in the room, flanked by three prison officers in the dock of the accused, The I He limited himself to receiving the accusation through a headset and pleading “not guilty” when asked to confirm his claim.
The Prosecutor’s Office presented two accusations of conspiracy for collusion with foreign forces for the alleged request of international sanctions against mainland china and Hong Kong through the now defunct newspaper AppleDailyas well as for an “anti-China pressure” campaign that he allegedly financed.
Furthermore, it is accused The I of a third charge of sedition conspiracy for allegedly inciting public hatred against the authorities following the 2019 anti-government protests.
On the other hand, the court received not guilty pleas on similar charges from three insurance companies AppleDailyrepresented by independent lawyers.
In front of the judicial offices was this Tuesday the veteran activist Alexandra Wongpopularly known by her Cantonese nickname “Grandma Wong,” who unfurled a flag of the United Kingdom and expressed his support for The I under the watchful eye of the police.
Apart from the current charges, The I He is currently serving a sentence of 5 years and 9 months in prison for a crime of fraud for alleged violations in the lease of his multimedia company, a sentence imposed after spending two years in preventive detention and as the culmination of a long series of legal cases against him.
The founder of the pro-democratic newspaper AppleDaily He has been in prison since December 2020, and has declared not guilty from the beginning of all the crimes accused of him.
Six other defendants in the same case, all employees of the newspaper, have admitted their culpability and three of them will also testify against him.
The one of The I is the first criminal process held in the semi-autonomous territory for a crime of collusion with foreign forcesin a process which has generated a great international controversywith calls from USA and United Kingdom for the immediate release of the businessman.
The national security law imposed by China to Hong Kong in 2020 after massive protests pro-democracy campaign has been widely criticized for suppressing dissent and eroding freedoms in the city.
Although the leaders of Beijing and the semi-autonomous region have claimed ‘the solidity of the rule of law and the equal treatment reserved for citizens before the law’, the magnate’s son, the editor Sebastian Laihas reported to the international community that the process is “a farce.”
(With information from EFE)