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Hong Kong Publishing Tycoon, Pro-Democracy Activist Arrested

In this Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020 photo, Jimmy Lai arrives at a court in Hong Kong. Jimmy Lai, the pro-democracy Hong Kong media tycoon who was arrested during a crackdown on dissent was charged Wednesday Dec. 2, 2020, with fraud but no national…

Hong Kong media tycoon and pro-democracy advocate Jimmy Lai has been arrested and charged with fraud.

The 73-year-old Lai appeared in a Hong Kong courtroom Thursday along with two other executives of his Next Digital company and reportedly accused of violating terms of the company’s lease of its office space.

Lai was arrested at his home back in August and charged with suspicion of colluding with a foreign country under the city’s new national security law imposed by China. Hours after his arrest, more than 100 police officers raided the headquarters of Lai’s Next Digital company, which publishes the newspaper Apple Day. The newspaper livestreamed the raid on its website, showing officers roaming the newsroom as they rummaged through reporters’ files, while Lai was led through the newsroom in handcuffs.

He was one of at least 10 people were arrested that day, including at least one of Lai’s sons.

Lai is already in legal jeopardy for his pro-democracy activism. He was one of 15 activists arrested earlier this year and hit with seven charges, including organizing and participating in unauthorized assemblies and inciting others to take part in an unauthorized assembly.