Executive councilor Arthur Li says the absence of an official denial from Beijing is fueling rumors Hong Kong book publisher Lee Bo was seized by Chinese security agents and taken across the border to the mainland.
Li, a ranking member of Leung Chung-ying’s cabinet, called the situation “highly worrying”, Apple Daily reports.
Some public security officers might have carried out the kidnapping in order to claim credit for it, Li told television broadcaster TVB.
Lee is a major shareholder of Mighty Current Media Co. which owns Causeway Bay Books, whose gossipy publications about China’s political elite have been linked to his disappearance and those of four colleagues.
Li said mainland authorities should look into the legal responsibility of those involved and make a public clarification as soon as possible.
The Hong Kong government should make formal representations to Beijing and say this is something unacceptable, he said.
Meanwhile, Leung said he is “very concerned” about Lee’s disappearance and that he has asked the authorities in Beijing to help speed up the investigation.
However, he said Chinese officials have no time frame for an answer.
Leung asked any witnesses to come forward.
A man said he saw Lee being followed by someone in a dark coat as he left a warehouse near the MTR Chai Wan station around 6 p.m. on Dec. 30 when Lee was last seen, according to Ming Pao Daily.
Another witness said he saw Lee being taken into a van by several men, with someone trying to stop them.
– Contact us at [email protected]