Hong Kong court revokes media tycoon Jimmy Lai's bail

Hong Kong court revokes media tycoon Jimmy Lai's bail

Lai had been granted bail on December 23 after three weeks in custody on charges of fraud and endangering national security

Media mogul Jimmy Lai, founder of Apple Daily, arrives the Court of Final Appeal, for hearing an appeal by the Department of Justice against the bail decision of Lai, in Hong Kong, China. Credit: Reuters

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai has had his bail revoked after prosecutors succeeded in asking the city's highest court to send him back to detention.

Lai had been granted bail on December 23 after three weeks in custody on charges of fraud and endangering national security. His appeal hearing is slated for February 1.

The court said Thursday that it was “reasonably arguable" that the previous judge's decision was erroneous and that the order of granting bail was invalid.

Lai was charged with fraud on December 3 for allegedly violating the lease terms for office space for the Next Digital, the media company he founded. He was later charged again on December 12 under the sweeping national security law imposed by Beijing on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces and endangering national security.

Lai is among a string of pro-democracy activists and supporters arrested by Hong Kong police in recent months as authorities step up their crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.