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AP Exclusive: Ex-Interpol chief's wife gets asylum in France

AP  |  Paris 

The wife of Meng Hongwei, the former jailed in for what she believes are political reasons, said Monday that has saved her life and the lives of their two young boys by granting her asylum request.

The office that rules on asylum requests rendered its decision last week, granting her refugee status, Grace Meng's legal team said.

The asylum office didn't respond to contacts by phone and email, and the said it doesn't comment on individual cases.

told the AP that the guarantee of being able to stay in France, where was stationed with Interpol, offers her family greater security while she pursues her struggle to get information from about her husband's whereabouts and even whether he is still alive.

"If hadn't protected me, I would have been killed ages ago," she said. "It's a second life for us, me and my children."

Her last communication with her husband was an emoji of a knife he texted her from shortly before he disappeared on a trip to last September. Chinese authorities subsequently announced that was in detention, accused of corruption.

He was expelled from the ruling and from his office as vice minister of public security, a title he retained after his 2016 to the presidency of Interpol, the liaison organization headquartered in Lyon,

claims her husband is a victim of political persecution in China. There are suspicions that he fell out of favour with Chinese Xi Jinping, who has carried out a wide-ranging crackdown on corruption and perceived disloyalty that observers say is calculated to strengthen party control while bringing down potential challengers to his authority.

Last week, Chinese prosecutors indicted on charges of accepting bribes, accusing him of abusing his positions to "illegally accept cash and property in return for performing favors for others."

said that China has failed to provide a shred of evidence to support the accusations.

"This is a political case," she told the AP.

In the wake of her husband's detention, Grace Meng has lived under police protection in France.

In filing her asylum request to French authorities last November, her lawyers argued that she would be in danger if she returns to China, having criticized Chinese authorities' handling of his case.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 13 2019. 20:06 IST