HONG KONG –Hong Kong media mogul and activist Jimmy Lai has been allowed to leave prison under strict conditions after the Hong Kong Supreme Court granted the 73-year-old a bail request on Wednesday following 20 days in detention.

According to the decision, Lai is allowed to leave the prison, but has to put himself under house arrest.

In addition, Lai must leave a deposit of 10 million Hong Kong dollars ($1.3 million).

Lai was charged with fraud in early December and, shortly thereafter, with violating Hong Kong's new security law. If convicted, he faces up to life imprisonment. The trial is scheduled to continue on April 16.

The Hong Kong judiciary is cracking down on democratic forces. Most recently, prominent activist Joshua Wong and two of his colleagues were sentenced to prison terms.

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