Hong Kong’s commissioner of police said on Tuesday he suspected Lee Po was hiding something in the bookseller’s recent interview.
Commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung said that the force would have to accept Lee’s claim that he sneaked into the mainland of his own free will in order to help with an investigation.
Lo said there was no point meeting with Lee in the near future, after he met a police officer and an immigration officer on Monday, six weeks after Hong Kong made the request.
Lo also said there was no evidence that Lee was kidnapped by mainland agents last December over the sale of banned books across the border. He told reporters: “We don’t see [evidence] that he was forcibly taken away. We have met Mr Lee in person, and he said he used his own means to leave Hong Kong for the mainland. Thus, at this moment when we do not have other evidence, we have accepted what he said.”
However, Lo admitted that Lee was not telling them the full story. “I believe that if we are to meet him again in the near future, there will be no new updates. There was something he did not reveal to us,” Lo said.
Lee stuck to his story on Monday that he was not kidnapped and was helping with an investigation into Gui Minhai, who has been accused of smuggling banned books. He asked HK police to drop their investigation, but the police chief said the investigation wasn’t over.
“We will wait for him to come back to Hong Kong. Once he is here, when we have the right to carry out law enforcement duties, we will meet him again,” Lo said.
HK representatives in China’s parliament say they’ll ask for answers at meetings in Beijing this month. Delegate Michael Tien Puk-sun said: “Lee Po still has not explained how he got to the mainland. I am concerned if the mainland authorities had acted across the border.”