Jimmy Lai moved to Stanley Prison

Local | 14 Jan 2021 5:10 pm

Next Digital founder Jimmy Lai Chee-ying has been moved to Stanley Prison with maximum security. 

Lai was escorted out of Lai Chi Kok Correctional Institute in handcuffs and a chain to his waist at around 11am today.

It’s understood that the 73-year-old media tycoon, who has been remanded since December 31 last year, has completed his 14-day quarantine and will continue to be in custody in the Stanley Prison.

The Stanley Prison is the largest maximum-security prison in Hong Kong, where inmates serve long-term or life sentences while the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre houses remand prisoners pending trial.

Democratic Party’s former lawmaker Andrew Wan Siu-kin and former Chinese University sociology professor Chan Kin-man came to the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre to visit Lai in the morning.

But the two left soon as staff at the reception center told them Lai will be transferred to the Stanley Prison today.

Wan told the media that they wanted to chat with Lai, but said they were not disappointed at not seeing him.

“It’s fine, he is just being transferred to another prison, we will visit him later at the Stanley Prison,” Wan said. “We will arrange the time of visiting again when he has settled down there.”

Lai was remanded in custody on December 3 on a fraud charge. He was also charged with colluding with foreign forces under the national security law.

Both cases will be heard at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on April 16.

He was granted bail on December 23 of HK$10 million cash and HK$300,000 in sureties by the High Court, but was remanded again on December 31 after the Court of Final Appeal allowed government prosecutors to appeal against the High Court’ decision.

Lai will stay in custody until his next court appearance on February 1 when the appeal will be heard by the top court.

Lai will also appear at the District Court on February 16 and stand a 10-day unauthorized assembly trial with seven other pro-democracy figures.

Lai’s co-defendants include pro-democracy barrister Martin Lee Chu-ming, six prominent pro-democracy ex-lawmakers Albert Ho Chun-yan, Lee Cheuk-yan, Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, Cyd Ho Sau-lan, "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung, and Leung Yiu-chung.

The eight defendants were charged with organizing and knowingly taking part in an unauthorized assembly in Causeway Bay on August 18, 2019.

Another defendant, former lawmaker Au Nok-hin, has indicated that he will plead guilty to both charges.

The Department of Justice had hired British Queen's Counsel David Perry to represent the prosecution in this trial.

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