10 Aug 2020: Hong Kong media tycoon arrested under national security law
Lai (72) has been a known critic of the Chinese Communist Party, and his company, Next Digital, publishes the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily.
This is the most high-profile arrest made under the new legislation that had sparked widespread protests.
Details: Over 100 cops raided Next Digital headquarters
Lai was arrested during a dramatic raid conducted at Next Digital's headquarters on Monday morning.
Over 100 police officers entered the premises and rifled through papers on journalists' desks.
Lai and Next Digital's chief executive, Cheung Kim-hung, were then taken away in handcuffs. Lai's office and several reporters' cubicles were reportedly cordoned off for searches.
The raid was live-streamed by Apple Daily.
Fact: Here are visuals from the raid
Context: Lai accused of collusion with foreign country
Lai has been slapped with charges of collusion with a foreign country or external elements. However, it was not immediately clear what specific action led to his arrest.
Lai has often been denounced by Chinese officials, pro-Beijing news outlets in Hong Kong, and the Chinese state media for his pro-democracy stance.
Earlier, he had said the new security law would be used against him.
Fact: Lai was earlier arrested in February
Lai was arrested back in February and was accused of joining an unauthorized protest last year on June 4 to mark the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown by Beijing. The 72-year-old tycoon had spoken in favor of last year's pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
Other arrests: Lai's 2 sons also arrested
Mark Simon—a senior executive with Next Digital—told The New York Times that Lai's two sons had also been arrested.
The sons are reportedly being investigated for violations of the company business code. However, they are not associated with Apple Daily, which indicates that the police are investigating Lai's private investments, Simon said.
Several employees are also being questioned at their homes, Simon added.
Other developments: Journalists restricted from police briefing
Radio Television Hong Kong—a government-funded broadcaster—said its reporters were temporarily blocked from a police briefing at the scene. RTHK has been facing criticism for its aggressive coverage of the police.
Most of the area around the Apple Daily's headquarters had been cordoned off where journalists weren't allowed.
The police said it had entered the building with a search warrant to investigate national security offenses.