Hong Kong media tycoon and prominent pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai is being charged with foreign collusion under the city’s sweeping national security law, a move likely to prompt further international criticism of China’s political crackdown on the former British colony.

The charges were reported by local media Friday and appeared to later be confirmed by police in a statement that didn’t specifically mention Lai by name, as per the force’s typical practice.

"After in-depth investigation by National Security Department of Hong Kong Police, a 73-year-old man was charged with an additional offense of ‘collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security,’” the police said, adding the case "will be mentioned” at the West Kowloon Magistracy on Saturday morning.