Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Friday, Feb 03, 2023

Warning of ‘adjustments’ to Hong Kong security law if Lai lawyer ruling upheld

Warning of ‘adjustments’ to Hong Kong security law if Lai lawyer ruling upheld

Tam Yiu-chung, Hong Kong’s sole delegate to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, issues second and strongest warning ahead of top court’s decision.

The city’s sole delegate to China’s top legislative body has warned that it will have to step in to “make adjustments” to the national security law if Hong Kong’s top court upholds a ruling that allows a prominent British barrister to defend media mogul Jimmy Lai Chee-ying in his coming trial.

Tam Yiu-chung, a member of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, on Saturday gave his second and strongest warning two days ahead of the Court of Final Appeal’s deferred decision on the suitability of overseas lawyers to take up cases involving the Beijing-imposed law.

“The involvement of foreign barristers is absolutely inappropriate. It also breaches the legislative intent of the NPC Standing Committee,” Tam said at an event organised by a pro-Beijing group.

“If the situation is not changed, there is no other way but for the standing committee to interpret the [national security] law and make adjustments.”

Jimmy Lai’s trial starts on Thursday.

Tam, who leaves the standing committee in February after five years, was involved in drafting the national security law that took effect in 2020 following the city’s anti-government protests.

Asked if his remarks amounted to piling pressure on the city’s top court, he said he was just “expressing his own views”.

“When the standing committee finds that the enacted legislation has been misunderstood or misinterpreted, it has the responsibility to clarify the original intention of the legislation,” Tam said.

Tam dropped his warning, the strongest yet among those in the pro-Beijing bloc, a day after the top court reserved its ruling on the issue until Monday.

Lai’s trial, which starts on Thursday, is the first to deal with the question of “collusion with foreign forces” under the national security law.

The 74-year-old founder of the now-closed Apply Daily newspaper stands accused of three national security charges – two counts of conspiracy to collude with foreign forces, and one of collusion with foreign forces.

Lawyer Timothy Owen (right) outside the Court of Final Appeal.

Tam on Saturday argued that the trial might involve state secrets or the issue of external forces, and that the admission of London-based King’s Counsel Timothy Owen should not be allowed.

This was despite a lower court ruling that the possible disclosure of state secrets by some overseas counsel was “a hypothetical situation”, as Lai’s defence lawyer had said no state secrets had been disclosed to him as part of the criminal prosecution.

The Department of Justice, which has twice lost in its objection against Lai’s retention, had earlier appealed to the court to impose a blanket ban on overseas lawyers from taking part in any national security cases unless under exceptional conditions.

The NPC Standing Committee has rendered its interpretation of the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, five times, with the latest one in 2016 resulting in the disqualifications of six opposition lawmakers over the manner of their oath-taking when being sworn in.

If the standing committee proceeds to override the Court of Final Appeal’s judgment, it will be the first interpretation of the national security law.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
Chinese search giant Baidu to launch ChatGPT like AI chatbot.
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
China is opening up for foreign investors.
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
China relaxes 'red lines' on property sector borrowing in policy pivot
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Japan prosecutors indict man for ex-PM Shinzo Abe murder
Vietnam removes two deputy PMs amid anti-corruption campaign
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
China’s recovery could add 1% to Australia’s GDP: JPMorgan 
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
China vows to strengthen financial support for enterprises: official
International medical experts speak out against COVID-19 restrictions on China
2 Billion People To Travel In China's "Great Migration" Over Next 40 Days
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
Flight constraints expected to weigh on China travel rebound
Billionaire Jack Ma relinquishes control of Ant Group
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Teslas now over 40% cheaper in China than US
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
China seeks course correction in US ties but will fight ‘all forms of hegemony’, top diplomat Wang Yi says
China will boost spending in 2023
African traders welcome end of China’s Covid travel curbs
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
Preparations begin for Spring Festival travel rush
Domestic COVID-19 drug effective in trial
HK to see a full recovery, John Lee says in New Year message
Bargain hunters flock to last day of Hong Kong brands and products expo
Hong Kong aims for January 8 reopening of border with mainland China