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China offering no proof against ex-Interpol chief, wife says

AFP  |  Lyon 

The wife of the former head of Interpol denounced Friday a lack of proof by China's government to justify detaining her husband, six months after he disappeared before later being accused of taking bribes.

"The Chinese authorities have not formulated actual charges or adduced the alleged supporting evidence," Grace Meng said in a statement released by her lawyer.

China's Public Security Ministry revealed this week that Meng Hongwei had been expelled from the Communist Party while his case was handed over to prosecutors.

Meng vanished last September during a visit to China from Lyon in southeast France, where Interpol, the international police organisation, is based.

Meng and her seven-year-old twins have remained in Lyon under police protection since then, and she has said she will seek political asylum for her and her family.

She also urged President Emmanuel Macron to discuss her husband's case with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during his state visit to France earlier this week.

The day after Xi left France, the Public Security Ministry claimed that Meng had "illegally accepted huge amounts of property from others" and used state assets to support his family's lavish lifestyle.

"The press release openly reveals the political nature of Mr Meng's case, without addressing the issues concerning our family's fundamental human rights," Grace Meng said in her statement.

She reiterated her calls to be informed where her husband is being held and to let him meet with lawyers, "and to let me and my children speak to my husband and their father."

Meng, the first Chinese head of Interpol, had risen through the ranks of his country's feared security apparatus.

He had a 14-year career overseeing various top public security bureaux in China, including the country's armed police force.

Shortly after his disappearance last year, Beijing informed Interpol that Meng had resigned as president, and that he had been charged with accepting bribes.

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

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First Published: Fri, March 29 2019. 18:40 IST