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Veteran human rights lawyer Michael Vidler decided it was too dangerous to work in Hong Kong the moment a judge designated to handle national security law cases implied offering legal support to democracy activists could be a crime.

Judge Stanley Chan cited a contact card naming two law firms, including Vidler’s, as evidence of how organized the 2019 anti-government camp was in his judgment for an unlawful assembly conviction earlier this year. As to whether the lawyers named were “accomplices” to that crime, Chan said he couldn’t comment.

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