Police studying bank records of Hongkonger in foreign collusion case, court hears

Published (HKT): 2021.04.14 18:53
Chan Tsz-wah

Hong Kong police obtained the bank records of a legal assistant charged under the city’s national security law and needed time for further investigation, prosecutors told a court on Wednesday.

Chan Tsz-wah, 29, did not apply for bail and will remain in custody until his next hearing on June 7. He is charged with one count of conspiracy to collude with foreign forces or with external elements to endanger national security and one count of conspiracy to assist offenders.

At Wednesday’s hearing in the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts, the prosecution said that the police had gained access to the defendant’s bank records, along with those of other alleged co-conspirators, and had 78 suspicious records to examine.

Chan allegedly conspired with members of the lobbying group Stand with Hong Kong to request that foreign countries sanction China and Hong Kong. The other alleged co-conspirators are Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai, his former assistant Mark Simon, Andy Li and Finn Lau, who is now in Britain.

Li and Lau are said to be the public faces of the group, while Lai, Simon and Chan allegedly operate behind the scenes.

The second charge Chan is facing relates to the circumstances in which Li tried to escape from Hong Kong in August 2020. Chan purportedly conspired to assist Li in leaving without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, with the intention of perverting the arrest or prosecution of the latter.

Under the national security law, a conviction for colluding with foreign forces results in a prison sentence of between three and 10 years, while those whose offenses are considered to be of a grave nature face between 10 years and life in jail.

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