Apple Daily , its founder Jimmy Lai Chee-ying and four executives have sought a court order for Hong Kong police to return journalistic materials and other documents they might have wrongfully seized during a raid on the newspaper’s headquarters on Monday. The tabloid-style daily and senior employees filed six writs to the High Court on Thursday, requesting an inspection of the materials seized by officers during the operation, which saw Lai and several others arrested under the sweeping national security law . The court applications came within 24 hours of police warning that, unless legal action was taken before August 17, officers would unseal 30 boxes of documents and three hard drives brought under the force’s jurisdiction after a nine-hour search of the newspaper’s Tseung Kwan O premises. Those filing in court include parent company Next Digital, its subsidiaries and five arrestees – Lai, Next Digital CEO Cheung Kim-hung, chief operating officer and chief financial officer Royston Chow Tat Kuen, chief administrative officer Wong Wai-keung, and Next Animation Studio CEO Kith Ng Tat-kong. They sought to reclaim possession of documents and digital files which were either related to news reporting or legal proceedings, or seized outside officers’ powers, according to the court filing by Robertsons Solicitors. A hearing date has yet to be fixed. Hong Kong police turn focus on donors to group urging sanctions While police officers may enter premises and search any person with a warrant granted by a magistrate, they are prohibited from searching for or seizing “material which is known or suspected to be journalistic material”, unless they are authorised by 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. Even if officers are granted permission to access such materials, they are still barred from accessing materials made subject to legal professional privilege, which protects communication between lawyers and clients under the city’s common law system. Lai, his two sons, the four senior executives and three activists, including Agnes Chow Ting, were apprehended in the most high-profile operation since the national security law was imposed by Beijing six weeks ago. They were accused of colluding with foreign forces or committing commercial fraud. RTHK removes show featuring wanted activist Nathan Law from website Earlier, a police source said the fraud allegation stemmed from an investigation initiated by some pro-Beijing groups, who accused Lai of using the newspaper’s officers to provide secretarial services, which could constitute a breach of land-lease terms and an offence of providing false information to the Lands Department to evade rent. The 10 were released on hefty cash bail on Tuesday evening and in the early hours of Wednesday after police decided not to lay charges for now. Lai, who paid a HK$200,000 (US$25,805) cash bail and a HK$300,000 surety, said after his release that he had no regrets about founding the newspaper and pledged to keep it running.