Taiwan links sink radio host's bail bid

Business | Wallis Wang 14 May 2021

Internet radio host Wan Yiu-sing, nicknamed "Giggs," allegedly made bank transfers to a Taiwanese church to help fugitives who fled to Taiwan, judge Esther Toh Lye-ping said in a written judgment explaining why he was refused bail.

Wan, 52, was charged with four counts of acting with seditious intent against the central and Hong Kong governments. He was slapped with another five money laundering charges and another count of conspiring to commit an act with a seditious intention on Monday.

Wan, who has been remanded since February 10, filed a bail application to the High Court but it was rejected by Toh on March 25.

Toh said the risk of Wan fleeing Hong Kong is "extremely high." She added: "The evidence appears strong and the charges are very serious. So the temptation of absconding is extremely high, particularly in view of the fact that [Wan] appears to be well connected to various organizations in Taiwan."

Toh said it was clear that Wan was "very active" in promoting his contact with organizations in Taiwan through his fundraising scheme - the Judicial Reform Foundation and Presbyterian Church in Taiwan.

The prosecution said the two groups appealed to other countries to impose trade restrictions or sanctions on the China and Hong Kong governments while urging the release of national security law defendants.

Toh said Wan raised around HK$13 million in donations between February and November last year, adding that HK$9 million was deposited to his personal account and portion was later transferred to the bank account of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan.

"It is also submitted by [the prosecution] that there is evidence to show that some of the money was paid to individuals who had fled from Hong Kong and had jumped court bail," Toh said.

She added that Wan had said the ultimate aim of the fundraising scheme was to "contribute to overthrowing the Communist Party of China."

Although the prosecution suggested that the court should apply the national security law when considering bail, Toh said she would still consider the threshold for bail under the Crimes Ordinance.

"I would give the benefit of the doubt to [Wan] in view of the fact that he was charged under the Crimes Ordinance and not under the national security law," she said.

Toh also handed down written judgments regarding the bail application of activists "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung and Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit.

The two were charged with conspiracy to commit subversion under the national security law for organizing or participating in the pro-democracy camp's primary elections last year. Their bail applications were rejected by the High Court earlier.

Toh said there are no grounds to believe Leung and Sham will not commit acts endangering national security if granted bail. Sham is a "determined and resolute young man" who insisted that the government respond to the five demands when he reported to police in February, she said.


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