Hong Kong’s highest court hears Jimmy Lai’s appeal as scrutiny intensifies

Hong Kong’s highest court has begun its first trial over former media mogul Jimmy Lai’s role in pro-democracy protests in 2019, after a series of departures of foreign judges renewed scrutiny of the case. city ​​justice system.

The Court of Final Appeal on Monday began hearing the appeal of Lai and six former lawmakers seeking to overturn their convictions for participating in an illegal protest in August 2019. A lower court had previously exonerated the seven pro-democracy activists of the accusation of having organized this gathering. but upheld their guilty verdict for participating in it.

The hearing comes days after a prominent British judge, Jonathan Sumption, resigned from the highest court in one of three exits announced this month and warned of ‘serious danger’ for the rule of law in the financial hub due to Beijing’s tightening grip.