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National security law: Former bar association president leaves Hong Kong for UK after meeting with police

Former Hong Kong Bar Association president Paul Harris left town on Tuesday evening, hours after being asked to explain actions that allegedly violated national security law during a meeting with the police.

the To post learned that the lead solicitor flew to Turkey around 11pm en route to the UK.

His departure came less than 12 hours after attending an interview with National Security Department officers at the police headquarters in Wan Chai. He left the seat around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

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A police source said on Tuesday that Harris, a British citizen, had been called in to “assist in an investigation”, and asked to explain actions that allegedly violated national security law. He was allowed to leave after giving a bail statement to the police.

Ex-Hong Kong bar chief meets with National Security Police to ‘help with investigation’

Police sources declined to go into details of the case.

the To post learned that Harris was under no obligation to inform police of his whereabouts during the investigation.

Beijing imposed the National Security Law in June 2020 to prohibit acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces – offenses punishable by life imprisonment.

Harris, who headed the Bar Association from January 2021 until the start of this year, had called on the government to change the sweeping legislation and expressed concern that some of its provisions appeared to contradict with the rights guaranteed by the Basic Lawthe city’s mini-constitution.

Shortly after he took office at the association, Beijing’s two main agencies overseeing Hong Kong affairs accused him of being an anti-communist lawyer who challenged the “one country, two systems” principle.

Beijing’s liaison office in the city later denounced him as an “anti-China politician”, warning that his leadership would mock the Bar Association.

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