HomeWorldThe trial of Chinese Communist Party critic Jimmy Lai was postponed for...

The trial of Chinese Communist Party critic Jimmy Lai was postponed for nearly a year after a lawyer was denied a visa


Hong Kong publisher Jimmy Lai will not be tried for his alleged violation of China’s national security law until the end of 2023, after his British lawyer was denied a visa extension.

Lai, 75, was sentenced to 69 months in prison last week for fraud after an already lengthy probationary period. She was scheduled to enter court again on Tuesday to stand trial with much higher stakes under China’s national security law.

However, the trial was delayed after attorney Tim Owen was denied a work visa extension.

CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY CRITIC MEDIA MAGNET JIMMY LAI SENTENCED TO 69 MONTHS IN PRISON

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist and media mogul Jimmy Lai arrives at the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal on December 31, 2020.
(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Chinese officials claim that Lai’s use of a non-Chinese lawyer is a national security risk. This complaint was dismissed by the Hong Kong high court, but the decision is now under scrutiny in Beijing with no verdict so far.

Now, Lai will be forced to wait until September 2023 before he can stand trial again.

The media mogul and opponent of the Chinese Communist Party was originally charged with fraud on December 3, 2019 for violating the terms of the lease for office space for Next Digital, the media company he founded.

In addition to the prison term, Lai was ordered to pay a fine of approximately $256,837.

HONG KONG MEDIA TYCOON JIMMY LAI’S BAIL REVOKED

Red flags fly in front of the Great Hall of the People ahead of the two annual sessions on March 4, 2022 in Beijing, China.

Red flags fly in front of the Great Hall of the People ahead of the two annual sessions on March 4, 2022 in Beijing, China.
(VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Lai was charged with a more severe charge on December 12, 2019, under the comprehensive national security law imposed by Beijing. He was arrested on charges of colluding with foreign forces and endangering national security. This is the judgment that will now take place in 2023.

Father Robert Sirico, a Roman Catholic priest and a personal friend of Lai’s, told Fox News Digital that the Chinese Communist Party’s legal actions against the media titan exposed his commitment to silencing human rights activists.

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“As if more evidence was needed, [last week’s] The bogus sentence is evidence of China’s continued erosion of basic human freedoms, which the whole world has been witnessing in China for the past few weeks,” Sirico said.

Lai is a late-life convert to Roman Catholicism and has been outspoken about the role of his faith in his activism against the CCP.

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist and media magnate Jimmy Lai is escorted by Correctional Services officers into a prison van before appearing in court in Hong Kong on December 12, 2020. .

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist and media magnate Jimmy Lai is escorted by Correctional Services officers into a prison van before appearing in court in Hong Kong on December 12, 2020. .
(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

“This, along with an impending second trial on the National Security Law […] which could result in a life sentence for Mr. Lai, will prompt decent people to pray and contact the UK government to ask China to release an innocent British citizen,” the priest added.

Lai is among a number of pro-democracy activists and supporters arrested by Hong Kong police in recent years as authorities stepped up their repression of dissent in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.



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