Apple Daily's Editor-in-Chief Ryan Law said the paper would continue to be published no matter what, after police ended their hours-long raid and the staff returned to work.
Police who undertook an unprecedented raid on the daily’s office, including its newsroom, had carted away 25 boxes from the building as evidence.
Earlier, many people had tuned in to watch the raid being conducted by nearly 200 officers as they searched the building, including the desks of some reporters.
Some desks were festooned with poster art in support of pro-democracy protests last year and the Umbrella movement of 2014. One read: "Who's afraid of the truth!"
More police began arriving and fanned across the newsroom, followed by Law, as they meandered through the unmanned cubicles in scattershot fashion, lifting a paper here, plucking a folder from a cabinet there.
At around 11am police led media tycoon Jimmy Lai – who was arrested earlier in the day under the national security law – into his office in handcuffs.
When he went to the toilet, an entourage of around 20 officers followed. Several other senior executives were also shown being taken into the building.
Months before the law took effect, the newspaper had shredded documents, uploaded digitised files to overseas servers and safeguarded sources, two senior reporters told Reuters, speaking anonymously because of the sensitivity of the situation.
"I had prepared myself mentally for this," one said. "But emotionally I feel a little conflicted. It's happened so quickly. The government is finally taking this drastic step to destroy the city's media freedoms."
One reporter told RTHK that he was worried if the raiding officers had taken information related to some investigative work that some of the staff were doing.
Senior police on the scene tried at one point to prevent Apple Daily reporters working at their desks, but relented upon fierce objections from staff present.
After the raid ended and the posse of police left, Law said they are back at work again. “Business as usual," he said in a text message to Reuters. (RTHK, Reuters)
Apple Daily will continue to be published: editor
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