Date
26 July 2017
Cheung Chi-ping (inset) wants his missing-persons case dropped by the Hong Kong authorities. He returned to Hong Kong on Sunday. Photos: HKEJ, phtv.ifeng.com
Cheung Chi-ping (inset) wants his missing-persons case dropped by the Hong Kong authorities. He returned to Hong Kong on Sunday. Photos: HKEJ, phtv.ifeng.com

Second bookseller returns to Hong Kong, wants probe dropped

A second bookseller held in China after being reported missing has returned to Hong Kong and asked that his disappearance case be closed.

However, Hong Kong authorities are likely to press their investigation, Apple Daily reports.

Cheung Chi-ping, business manager of Causeway Bay Books, entered Hong Kong through Lo Wu on Sunday, two days after the return of Lui Por, the bookstore’s general manager.

The two were reported on Friday to have been granted bail by Chinese authorities, along with colleague Lam Wing-kee, who has yet to leave China.

Police confirmed Cheung’s return in a statement on Sunday.

Cheung and Lui had asked that their missing-persons case be canceled, the statement said.

They gave no further details but said they did not need any help from the Hong Kong government to secure their release.

A fourth bookseller, Lee Bo, remains in the mainland, purportedly to assist into an official investigation into fellow bookseller Gui Minhai.

All five are from Mighty Current Media, parent of Causeway Bay Books which publishes materials critical of the Chinese elite.

They were reported missing last year, feared kidnapped by Chinese agents, and reemerged in the mainland, saying they had returned voluntarily.

Gui said he gave himself up to the police for a 2003 traffic homicide.

Hong Kong police will only consider the matter closed after Lam and Lee return to Hong Kong, according to sources.

Meanwhile, political commentator Willy Lam said Lee Bo might not be released anytime soon because his problems are “more complicated”.

By contrast, Cheung, Lui and Lam are treated by Bejing as “minor players”, he said.

Democratic Party legislator James To, a member of Legco’s panel on security, said there is nothing the Hong Kong government can do if they stop cooperating with the investigation and want their cases dropped.

Prime Minister Li Keqiang might be forced to address the booksellers’ case but not while the sessions of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference are taking place, Lam said.   

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