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Day 90: June 11, 2024

The Witness: Live Update | Day 90 of Jimmy Lai’s Trial. Prosecution Finishes Presenting Evidence. Court Adjourns until July 24

Founder of Next Digital, Jimmy Lai, and three related companies of Apple Daily, are charged with “conspiring to collude with foreign forces” among other charges. The trial reached its 90th day on Tuesday, July 11, at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts (acting as the High Court). The prosecution has completed presenting evidence, including interviews and recordings of Lai, and has closed its case. The case is adjourned until July 24 for mid-stage submissions to determine if there is a prima facie case.

The case is presided over by judges appointed under the National Security Law, including Esther Toh Lye-ping, Susana Maria D’Almada Remedios, and Alex Lee Wan-tang. The prosecution team includes Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Anthony Chau Tin-hang, Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Ivan Cheung Cheuk-kan, and Senior Prosecutor Crystal Chan Wing-sum; representing Lai are Senior Counsel Robert Pang Yiu-hung, Barrister Steven Kwan, and New Zealand barrister Marc Corlett, who is qualified to practice in Hong Kong. 

15:14 Court Adjourns

14: 50 Prosecution and Defense Will Present Mid-stage Statements on July 24

For the mid-stage statements, oral submissions were initially scheduled for July 9. However, after discussions among all parties, Judge Esther Toh Lye-ping considered that Judge Alex Lee Wan-tang needed to handle another case and was only available on July 9 to work on this case. Unless both parties were confident that they could complete the mid-stage statements within one day, the oral submissions could take place on July 24 to 25. Prosecutor Anthony Chau Tin-hang and defense lawyer Robert Pang Yiu-hung both agreed to accommodate the schedule. The case was adjourned to continue on July 24.

14:40 Court Granted Jimmy Lai Permission to be Absent from the Hearing. 

Lai did not attend today’s session, and at the opening of the court, Judge Esther Toh Lye-ping acknowledged receiving a letter last Friday, June 7, from Lai’s legal representatives requesting his absence. The letter emphasized that Lai voluntarily chose not to attend and would not suffer any injustice as a result. Judge Toh noted that today’s hearing was not dealing with significant matters but only involved amending translated texts, and considering Lai’s recent health issues and the presence of his legal representation, she approved his absence.

Prosecutor Anthony Chau Tin-hang then presented the revised translations and evidence list, indicating that the prosecution had formally completed presenting its case.

14:38 Court Session Begins

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