Guangdong police have confirmed that Hong Kong bookseller Lee Bo, who went missing Dec. 30, is in the mainland, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday, citing a press release issued late Monday night by the Hong Kong police force.
But the release, which said the force had received a letter from the Interpol Guangdong liaison office of the Guangdong provincial Public Security Department in reply to its inquiries, did not mention how Lee, 65, left Hong Kong.
A letter from Lee was enclosed with the confirmation letter. It was similar to one dated Sunday received by his wife, which said twice that he voluntarily returned to the mainland to assist in investigations.
Sophie Choi Ka-ping confirmed the attached letter was written by her husband.
State-run Xinhua news agency and CCTV reported Sunday that Gui Minhai, 51 — a mainland China-born Swedish national who was the first of the five men involved in Mighty Current Media Ltd. who have gone missing one after another since October last year — had turned himself in after fleeing a suspended sentence for killing a female university student in 2003 while driving drunk.
Saying the case is being gradually clarified, New People’s Party lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun, who is a Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress, said he believed that Lee is now “with” Guangdong police but not being detained.
But Democratic Party legislator James To Kun-sun appeared to disagree, saying the confirmation letter from Guangdong police suggested Lee is not purely assisting in investigations but is under arrest.
The situation shows the mutual notification mechanism between the mainland police and Hong Kong police has collapsed, as the confirmation letter lacks necessary details, To said.
Meanwhile, Ip Kwok-him, a lawmaker from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong who chairs the Legco panel on security, quoted Li Fei, head of the Basic Law Committee, as saying that any law enforcement action in Hong Kong by mainland authorities would be against the Basic law and totally intolerable.
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