Jailed Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-Ying has been arrested again in connection with the case related to 12 Hong Kongers who tried to flee to Taiwan, South China Morning Post reported citing local newspaper he owns.
Apple Daily on Wednesday said its founder was detained under the national security law the previous night for "conspiracy to assist an offender", and "conspiracy to collude with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security" - a crime carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Jimmy Lai is currently remanded in the maximum-security facility having previously been charged with fraud, and colluding with foreign forces under the security law. He is awaiting a bail hearing on Thursday.
On Feburary 9, Hong Kong's top court ordered that Jimmy Lai would stay behind bars. Earlier, a judge had released him on an HK Dollar 10 million bond (USD 1.29 million).
However, Chief Justice Andrew Cheung Kui-nung said the earlier order was an erroneous interpretation of key provisions in the National Security Law.
Jimmy Lai, founder of the Next Digital media group and the tabloid-style Apple Daily newspaper, was placed under house arrest on December 23 after the High Court ruled he had an arguable defence for both charges and was unlikely to abscond.
He resigned as Next Digital's chairman and executive director two days before the Court of Final Appeal sent him back to jail on New Year's Eve.
The 12 Hong Kongers had been facing protest-related charges in Hong Kong and were fleeing to Taiwan by speedboat when the China Coast Guard intercepted them in mainland waters on August 23.
In September, the Chinese foreign ministry had confirmed that the group comprised 11 men and a woman, aged 16 to 33 have been detained while they were trying to escape China.
( With inputs from ANI )
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