In this file photo taken on Aug 10, 2020, police lead Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai (center) away from his home after he was arrested in Hong Kong. (VERNON YUEN / AFP)
The Court of Final Appeal (CFA), Hong Kong’s top court, on Monday upheld a decision to allow former media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying to hire a British barrister as his counsel in his upcoming national security trial.
Lai, founder of the now-defunct Apple Daily newspaper, is charged with colluding with foreign forces under the National Security Law for Hong Kong, and three other offenses. His trial is scheduled to begin on Thursday.
Besides being charged with colluding with foreign forces under the NSL, Lai also faces a sedition charge under the colonial-era sedition law
Last month, the High Court approved Lai’s request to hire British King’s Counsel Timothy Owen as his defense lawyer. The Department of Justice appealed to the CFA to overturn the High Court’s decision, arguing that the British barrister doesn’t have the expertise or experience to defend a client facing charges under the National Security Law for Hong Kong.
ALSO READ: National security at risk if UK counsel allowed for Lai
Besides being charged with colluding with foreign forces under the NSL, Lai also faces a sedition charge under the colonial-era sedition law. Three companies related to Apple Daily will also stand trial with Lai on Thursday.
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