Jimmy Lai's assets frozen under national security law - RTHK
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Jimmy Lai's assets frozen under national security law

2021-05-14 HKT 20:38
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  • Jimmy Lai is facing three national security-related charges. File photo: RTHK
    Jimmy Lai is facing three national security-related charges. File photo: RTHK
The government has frozen media tycoon Jimmy Lai's personal assets, using new powers available to authorities under the Beijing-imposed national security law for the first time.

Lai is facing three security-related charges, and is already serving a 14-month sentence after being convicted of taking part in unauthorised assemblies in August 2019.

In a statement published on Friday evening, the Security Bureau said Lai's shares of Next Digital Limited and property in local banks of three companies owned by him were being frozen under article 43 of the national security law.

Apple Daily said Lai holds a 71 percent stake in Next Digital.

The Security Bureau did not give any further details about the value of the assets frozen, but said the notice directs that “relevant persons and organisations must not, directly or indirectly, deal with certain property which is reasonably suspected to be related to offences endangering national security”.

It said the Hong Kong police’s national security department had laid one charge of collusion with a foreign country to endanger national security against Lai on December 11, 2020. It said two more charges of conspiracy were laid against Lai on April 16 this year.

It went on to say that the Secretary for Security has the power under the national security law to order police officers to seize property if he suspects it may be removed from the SAR.