Update: Another Apple Daily executive arrested by HK police, three denied bail
Published: Jul 21, 2021 03:11 PM


The National Security Department of the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) on Wednesday arrested one senior executive of Apple Daily and revoked bail arrangement for three more employees under custody for allegedly colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security, the Global Times learned from the police. The case will be heard on Thursday at a local court.

The police first arrested a 51-year-old former male editor on Wednesday on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security, the HKPF said in an email sent to the Global Times. Local media said the arrested person is Lam Man-chung, former executive editor-in-chief of Apple Daily. 

The police also said the operation is ongoing with more arrests to come. The case is connected to another one from June this year.

Besides Lam, its associate publisher Chan Pui-man and writer Fung Wai-kong were also detained on Wednesday for further investigations, according to local media reports. Later in the afternoon, the police confirmed in an email to the Global Times that its National Security Department arrested a 51-year-old woman and a 57-year old man in June this year for allegedly colluding with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security, and revoked their bail arrangements on Wednesday. 

They are undergoing further questioning, the police said. The paper's lead opinion writer Yeung Ching-Kei - known under the pen name Li Ping - who was arrested by the police in late June, remained in custody on Wednesday, Hong Kong media reported. The case of these four employees of Apple Daily will be heard by the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts on Thursday morning, the reports said.

Apple Daily, the secessionist tabloid depicted by Western politicians and media as a defender of freedom of speech, issued its final hard copy on June 24. Its collapse came after some of its senior executives were arrested on suspicion of violating the national security law for Hong Kong. HK$18 million ($2.3 million) in assets was also frozen during the investigation.

On July 17, police raided the office of Apple Daily and arrested some of its executives including editor-in-chief Ryan Law Wai-Kwong, CEO of Next Digital Cheung Kim-hung, the company's chief operating officer Chow Tat-kuen, and deputy chief editor Chan Puiman, as well as chief executive editor Cheung Chi-wai. About a week later, former Apple Daily editorial writer Fung Wai-kong was also arrested on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces in endangering national security. 

After the senior executives of Apple Daily were arrested, Lam said the remaining tabloid staff would ensure the normal operation of the paper, according to local media reports in mid-June. And on its last printing day, he oversaw the editorial work. 

Some experts warned previously that Apple Daily represented both anti-China sentiments and opposition to the Communist Party of China. The paper collaborated with the US to arouse chaos in Hong Kong, and financed and organized riots.