HK media tycoon Jimmy Lai denied bail after being charged for fraud

HONG KONG: Hong Kong media tycoon and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai was denied bail yesterday on a charge of fraud related to the lease of a building that houses his Apple Daily, an anti-government tabloid.

Lai, an ardent critic of Beijing, was detained on Wednesday and the case has been adjourned until April, according to media.

Lai, 73, and two senior executives of his company Next Digital, were charged on Wednesday on suspicion of concealing from and falsely representing the use of their office to their landlord, a public corporation set up by the Hong Kong government.

The charge stated they were not using the office space as permitted under the lease between 2016 to 2020, and had sub-let part of the premises, resulting in benefits to Apple Daily.

"This is about dirtying Jimmy up. It's Beijing's policing brought to Hong Kong," Mr Mark Simon, an associate of Lai said. - REUTERS