DoJ applies to adjourn Jimmy Lai’s case for 7 days pending interpretation of National Security Law, defence says work visa for British lawyer, Tim Owen KC not extended

Jimmy Lai and Tim Owens KC

1st December 2022 – (Hong Kong) Jimmy Lai of Next Digital and 6 senior executives of Next Digital and “Apple Daily”, together with 3 related companies , are suspected of violating the “Hong Kong National Security Law”. They were charged for publishing, offering to sell, distributing, displaying or copying seditious publications, etc. Among them, Lai and the three companies pleaded not guilty. The case was originally scheduled to start trial in the High Court today, and the trial was expected to last 30 days. The prison van carrying the defendant arrived at the High Court at about 9.30 this morning, and was escorted by the Regional Response Team of the Correctional Services Department.

Earlier, the High Court approved Lai’s appointment of British barrister Timothy Wynn Owen KC (also known as Tim Owen) to come to Hong Kong to defend him. Tim Owen has arrived in Hong Kong a few days ago. The Department of Justice’s appeal to the Court of Final Court to stop him from representing Lai was also rejected. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong government has applied for interpretation of the National Security Law to the Standing Committee.

The Department of Justice today applied to temporarily adjourn the trial for 7 days pending the interpretation of the law by the National People’s Congress. The defence did not object. The defence revealed that the Immigration Department refused Tim Owen to extend his work visa yesterday, so Tim Owen did not appear in court today. The court finally adjourned the case to 13th December and the time frame by the Standing Committee must be provided by the prosecution one day before.