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Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai denied bail as Pompeo tweets support

HONG KONG — Jimmy Lai, the 73-year-old Hong Kong media mogul and recommend for democracy, used to be denied bail Saturday, after being charged the day prior to this beneath the territory’s new nationwide safety regulation.

Lai faces a price of collusion with international components to hazard nationwide safety, it appears for tweets he made and interviews or commentaries he gave to international media.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted Saturday morning Asia time that the safety regulation “makes a mockery of justice.” He referred to as for Lai’s quick free up, pronouncing his most effective crime used to be talking the reality about China’s authoritarian Communist Celebration executive.

The Apple Day-to-day, a feisty pro-democracy tabloid owned through Lai, stated he’s accused of asking a international nation, group or particular person to impose sanctions or interact in different adversarial actions in opposition to Hong Kong or China.

His case used to be adjourned to April 16 on the request of prosecutors, who stated police wanted time to study greater than 1,000 tweets and feedback made on his Twitter account, the Apple Day-to-day reported. The newspaper stated his price sheet indexed a number of international politicians who adopted Lai on Twitter.

Lai used to be noticed handcuffed to a sequence round his waist as guards led him to a van to move from jail to courtroom. He wore a army blazer and an open-neck blouse.

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Lai, the highest-profile individual charged beneath the safety regulation, has additionally been arrested for different alleged offenses this 12 months. He has been charged with participating in unauthorized protests and with fraud over alleged violations of place of business rent phrases.

Beijing imposed the nationwide safety regulation on Hong Kong previous this 12 months after stormy protests in 2019 that began over an extradition invoice and expanded to incorporate calls for for higher democracy within the former British colony.

The brand new regulation outlaws secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with international forces to interfere in Hong Kong’s affairs. Democracy activists see it so to suppress dissent.

Lai has lengthy advocated for different nations to take a harsher stance on China, and met with Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence within the U.S. closing 12 months to speak about the extradition invoice, which the Hong Kong executive ultimately withdrew.

Pence additionally tweeted about Lai, pronouncing the fees in opposition to him had been “an affront to freedom loving other folks round in every single place.”

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