HONG KONG––Media mogul Jimmy Lai faces months in jail after a Hong Kong court on Thursday denied him bail while awaiting trial on a fraud charge, the latest in a procession of China critics to be put behind bars.
Police on Wednesday charged Mr. Lai and two aides with fraud related to the lease of a property, about three months after a high-profile raid involving national-security police on the offices of his pro-democracy newspaper, Apple Daily.
Mr. Lai has long been a target of Chinese officials for his rhetoric against Beijing. Prosecutors said the national-security investigation is continuing and opposed bail for the 73-year-old, according to local media. Magistrate Victor So Wai-tak declined bail while setting the next court appearance for April 16, meaning Mr. Lai will be held for 4½ months in prison. Cheung Kim-hung, the chief executive of Apple Daily parent Next Digital, said Mr. Lai will appeal.