Apple Daily will seek a court order on Thursday after police told the Hong Kong newspaper they would unseal documents seized during a raid on its offices unless it took legal action by Monday. The action followed the arrest on Monday of the paper’s founder Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, his two sons, four senior employees and three activists in the most high-profile operation since the sweeping national security law was imposed by Beijing six weeks ago. The tabloid-style daily’s editor-in-chief Ryan Law Wai-kwong said that police had written to the company’s lawyers stating that officers would unseal the piles of seized documents, which could be protected under the law, if they did not take legal action by Monday. “The lawyer said such a letter was not uncommon,” Law told the Post on Wednesday. “But I wonder why police sent such a letter? Would it appear to be a little intimidation?” Law said he did not have a list detailing what documents police had confiscated. At least 30 boxes of documents and three hard drives from various departments were seized in a nine-hour search of the Tseung Kwan O premises of the company, Apple Daily reported on Tuesday. Arrested Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai: ‘I would still go down this path’ Law said the newspaper would seek an interim injunction order on Thursday as “journalistic materials were included in the documents of Apple Daily Charitable Foundation seized by police”. He earlier said lawyers had applied on Monday night for seized materials stored on hard drives, including articles, photos and video footage of news reports relating to the foundation, to be sealed. Police said they would not comment on individual cases. Section 50(7) of the Police Force Ordinance empowers officers to enter premises, search any person with a warrant granted by a magistrate but does not authorise them to search for or seize “material which is known or suspected to be journalistic material”, unless they make applications to higher courts. “Journalistic material” is defined as “any material acquired or created for the purposes of journalism”, according to Section 82 of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance. On Monday, police picked up Lai and the nine others, while in an unprecedented operation 200 officers raided the offices of the newspaper, which is known for its anti-government and anti-Beijing stance. Those held were accused of colluding with foreign forces or committing commercial fraud. ‘Getting harder to run Hong Kong media company’: Jimmy Lai vows to continue A police source earlier said the fraud allegation was related to an investigation that was launched after some pro-Beijing groups accused Lai of using the offices of Next Digital, Apple Daily ’s parent company, to provide secretarial services, which could be a breach of land-lease terms and amount to providing false information to the Lands Department to evade rent. Those arrested were released on hefty cash bail on Tuesday evening and in the small hours of Wednesday morning after police decided not to lay charges for now. Lai paid a HK$200,000 (US$26,000) cash bail and a HK$300,000 surety.