SCMP: Hong Kong judge says prosecution must not make unfounded allegations against Jimmy Lai’s legal team

  • Lai’s lawyer asks for prosecution witness Cheung Kim-hung to testify again, as defence received meeting records only after earlier cross-examination of Apple Daily publisher
  • Prosecution argues defence could have retrieved evidence sooner and refrained from asking about records before, but judge says allegation lacked ‘proper foundation’


A Hong Kong judge hearing Jimmy Lai Chee-ying’s national security trial has asked prosecutors to refrain from making unfounded allegations against the mogul’s legal team for failing to raise a matter in contention during the cross-examination of a prosecution witness in earlier proceedings.
A lawyer representing Lai took to the witness stand on Monday in support of a defence request to have former Apple Daily publisher Cheung Kim-hung testify in court again about the now-defunct tabloid’s internal messaging records.
The application was made on the 75th day of what was originally listed as an 80-day trial, after Cheung and five other key prosecution witnesses completed their respective oral testimonies.

Cheung had earlier said the abstracts of various “lunchbox meetings” among Apple Daily executives were uploaded to workplace communication app Slack.

The prosecution argued Lai had made use of those meetings to deliver his instructions to senior editorial staff, including ones directing his newspaper to drum up support for the 2019 anti-government protests.

Johnny Ho, of Robertsons Solicitors, testified that the existence of those relevant meeting minutes first came to their knowledge only when Cheung was cross-examined by the defence on January 29 this year.

The defence team made inquiries to the Department of Justice the following day only to learn that the latter had identified no written records of the meetings in the evidence.

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