Published On: Tue, Jul 20th, 2021
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Hong Kong’s 1st Trial Under Beijing’s National Security Departs From Common Lawon July 20, 2021 at 5:49 am

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HONG KONG—The trial of the first person charged under Hong Kong’s national security law is set to wrap up on Tuesday, with the defendant denied bail and a jury in a landmark case that critics say is a departure from common law. Former waiter Tong Ying-kit, 24, has pleaded not guilty to charges of terrorism, inciting secession, as well as an alternative charge of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm on July 1 last year, shortly after the law was enacted. Hong Kong’s common law has traditionally allowed defendants to seek release unless prosecutors can show lawful grounds for their detention. Under the new Beijing-imposed security law, which has seen the end of what was a politically independent judicial system for the global financial hub, the burden of proof rests with the defendant to prove they will not break the law if released on bail—a reverse of international norms based on …

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