Hong Kong pro-democracy tycoon Jimmy Lai granted bail

Jimmy Lai, a media tycoon and the most prominent pro-democracy campaigner charged under a sweeping China-imposed security law, has been given bail and allowed to return to his home after being taken into custody three weeks ago.

A judge in Hong Kong’s High Court on Wednesday set bail at 10 million Hong Kong dollars ($1.3m) and imposed a series of conditions including that Lai remain at his home, not post on social media, give interviews or meet foreign officials. He was also required to surrender his passport.

An immediate appeal by the prosecution was denied.

Lai is one of the territory’s most hard-hitting critics of Beijing, while his Next Media group is considered one of the key remaining bastions of media freedom. He was first arrested in August when about 200 police officers raided the newsroom of his Apple Daily tabloid, an incident that the newspaper’s journalists live-streamed to viewers in the territory and across the world.

The tycoon’s Twitter account was deactivated on Wednesday but there were pictures online of Lai arriving home and waving from the front door.


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