Web Stories Thursday, February 29

“PRESSURE THE GOVERNMENT”

Cheung, former CEO of Apple Daily’s parent company, Next Digital, said Lai gave him instructions to “use Apple Daily to call people to take to the streets, to demonstrate, and to pressure the government”.

He told the court that the image of Lai “was all along very clear, who pursued democracy, freedom and was anti-totalitarian”.

Cheung added that Lai had a view of “getting the attention of Western democratic countries, hoping that they could provide assistance, and even take stronger actions, including imposing sanctions”.

Lai’s trial is being closely watched by diplomats.

Hong Kong’s former colonial ruler Britain and the United States have called for Lai’s immediate release, saying the case is politically motivated. Hong Kong officials say Lai will receive a fair trial.

Both Chinese and Hong Kong officials have said the national security laws were vital to restoring stability in Hong Kong. They punish acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life imprisonment.

Other prosecution witnesses include Apple Daily’s former associate publisher Chan Pui-man, former editorial writer Yeung Ching-kee, activist Andy Li and a paralegal Chan Tsz-wah. They have all pleaded guilty and will be sentenced at the end of the trial.

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