Hong Kong protests: Apple Daily owner Jimmy Lai charged over August 31 march and alleged intimidation of reporter at 2017 vigil

Hong Kong protests: Apple Daily owner Jimmy Lai charged over August 31 march and alleged intimidation of reporter at 2017 vigil

  • Apple Daily founder will appear at Eastern Court on May 5 along with former lawmakers Lee Cheuk-yan and Yeung Sum
  • They are accused of knowingly joining an illegal assembly on August 31, violating the Public Order Ordinance

Media mogul Jimmy Lai Chee-ying was arrested on Friday morning for taking part in an illegal assembly during the anti-government protests in Hong Kong last year, as well as for allegedly intimidating a reporter at an event in 2017.The 71-year-old founder of the tabloid-style Apple Daily will appear at Eastern Court on May 5 along with former lawmakers Lee Cheuk-yan and Yeung Sum, who were also arrested on Friday morning, over their involvement in a march on August 31 last year, one of several mass demonstrations held during the unrest sparked by the now-withdrawn extradition bill.

Lai, Lee and Yeung were released on police bail at noon, after being detained at different police stations from around 7am.

They are accused of knowingly joining an illegal assembly on August 31, violating the Public Order Ordinance. Criminal lawyers said the move to charge the trio could be a “test case” to pave the way for more arrests in the future. More than 6,000 people have been arrested in connection with the anti-government protests, which broke out last June, including high-profile activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung and several lawmakers.

Lai separately faced one count of intimidating an Oriental Daily reporter using foul language in June 2017, during the June 4 vigil in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay. The rival newspaper said its ­journalist had reported the incident to police and sent 17 letters to the Department of Justice about it.