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Two Apple Daily executives denied bail

2021-06-19 HKT 13:17
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  • Two Apple Daily executives denied bail
West Kowloon Court on Saturday denied bail for two Apple Daily executives charged under the National Security Law. It also adjourned a mention hearing for the pair until August 13.

The chief executive of Next Digital, Apple Daily's parent company, Cheung Kim-hung, the paper's editor-in-chief, Ryan Law, and three Apple Daily-related companies are accused of conspiring with founder Jimmy Lai and others to collude with foreign or external forces between July 1 last year to April 3, by requesting sanctions and blockades or engage in other hostile activities against the Hong Kong SAR or the People's Republic of China.

In applying for bail, the pair's lawyers said their clients would quit all their duties at Next Digital or Apple Daily.

Cheung's lawyer said his client could provide a cash bail of three million dollars, a surety of HK$500,000, and surrender all his travel documents.

He said Cheung would not contact any foreign officials or lawmakers, give media interviews, speak publicly and post on social media.

Law's lawyer said his client could deposit HK$100,000 to HK$200,000 in cash and a surety of HK$100,000, and would remain at home.

But chief magistrate Victor So rejected their applications, saying there was insufficient reason for the court to believe that the defendants would not "continue to endanger national security".

The court agreed to adjourn the hearing after the prosecution said police needed more time to examine 40 computers and 16 servers that they had seized during their raid on the paper's headquarters on Thursday.

Three other Apple Daily executives - chief operating officer Chow Tat-kuen, associate publisher Chan Pui-man and the chief executive editor, Cheung Chi-wai were earlier released on bail on Friday pending further investigation.

Earlier on Saturday, dozens of people queued up outside court, trying to get a seat for the hearing. Some shouted "add oil" when Law and Cheung appeared ahead of the hearing.

Members of the League of Social Democrats also showed up to support the Apple Daily executives.

Raphael Wong, the chairman of the league, said the prosecution of the Apple Daily executives was aimed at suppressing press freedom.

He said the authorities had failed to disclose criminal evidence to back their allegations.
Last updated: 2021-06-19 HKT 14:34