Jimmy Lai arrested for illegal assembly, intimidating journalist
Updated 13:33, 28-Feb-2020

Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, founder of Apple Daily and media group Next Digital, was arrested on Friday for illegal assembly and allegedly intimidating a journalist in June 2017, according to Hong Kong media reports.

A police source said he was held as part of an operation targeting those involved in an August 31 march during the anti-government protests, which sparked in June due to the now-withdrawn extradition bill.

Several police officers from the crime unit reached Lai's residence in Kadoorie Avenue, Ho Man Tin, at about 7.30 a.m. and took him to Kowloon City Police Station.

Commenting on the arrest, Leung Chun-ying, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said regardless of the influence one has abroad, a person should be punished if he breaks the law.

"Political forces cannot override the law, " Leung said on Facebook.

In July 2019, Jimmy met U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo amid the Hong Kong turmoil.

The Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) later condemned Lai's behavior as "disregarding national dignity and serving as a political tool for foreign forces to fight against China."