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Commissioner's office: Jimmy Lai's trial fair

By Xi Tianqi in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2024-01-04 09:52
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Photo taken on July 14, 2020 shows the Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Commissioner's Office of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Wednesday refuted Western politicians' smears against the SAR's handling of Jimmy Lai's national security case, saying the trial is law-based and impartial.

Recently, some European Parliament members, British politicians and the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China have baselessly criticized the trial of Lai. They also slandered the central government's policies toward the SAR and the National Security Law for Hong Kong, and called for sanctions against the central government and SAR officials.

A spokesperson for the commissioner's office said that Lai is the mastermind and participant of a series of anti-China activities in the SAR. He is also an agent and pawn of foreign anti-China forces who shamelessly colluded with them to undermine China's national security.

The spokesperson said the SAR upholds the rule of law and ensures strict law enforcement. The judiciary in Hong Kong conducts impartial trials based on the principles of justice and legality, garnering widespread support and appreciation from the local community.

Anti-China politicians and organizations are distorting facts, spreading misinformation and exploiting Lai's case to attack and tarnish Hong Kong people's human rights and society's rule of law. These actions, the spokesperson said, revealed their political motives and hypocritical nature.

On Wednesday, the 80-day trial of Lai entered its fifth day. According to the prosecution, Lai, the founder of the now-defunct tabloid Apple Daily, had discussed with the newspaper's management about donating funds to support protesters of the 2019 social unrest through the dissolved Civil Human Rights Front.

The prosecution said that Lai had previously initiated a campaign, instigating local residents to write letters to then-US president Donald Trump to "save Hong Kong". He also made constant public calls to attract more overseas subscribers to the English edition of Apple Daily, which he claimed would provide both economic support and political protection for Hong Kong residents, according to the prosecution.

Lai faces three charges under the National Security Law for Hong Kong, including two counts of conspiracy to collude with external forces to endanger national security and one of colluding with external forces to endanger national security. He was also charged with conspiracy to publish seditious publications.

Besides the count of colluding with external forces to endanger national security, Lai denied the remaining three charges on Tuesday.

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