Jimmy Lai and 6 ex-staff face new sedition charge

West Kowloon Court on Tuesday allowed prosecutors to press a new charge of conspiracy to publish seditious publications against Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai, six former senior staff members and three companies linked to the now-defunct newspaper.

The defendants – including Next Digital’s former CEO Cheung Kim-hung, Apple Daily’s former editor-in-chief Ryan Law, executives Chan Pui-man and Lam Man-chun, along with writers Yeung Ching-kee and Fung Wai-kong – are accused of publishing and distributing seditious publications with the intention to bring into hatred or contempt, or excite disaffection against the central and Hong Kong governments, as well as the judiciary of Hong Kong, between April 1, 2019 and June 24 this year.

They are also accused of having the intention to raise discontent or disaffection among Hong Kong residents, incite people to violence, and counsel disobedience to law or any lawful order.

The 10 defendants were also charged with conspiracy to collude with foreign forces between July 1 last year and June 24 this year.

West Kowloon Court adjourned the case of the three Apple Daily-linked firms to February 10.

The other seven defendants were remanded in custody, and their next hearing was set for February 24.