01/18/2016, 08.59
CHINA - HONG KONG
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China, one of five publishers disappeared "confessed" on TV. But does not add up

by John Ai

Official media have launched intensive slash to one the missing bookseller Gui Minhai. Gui was accused driving death and fleeing to foreign countries. Lee Bo's new letter also accused Gui. Netizens suspect the report. 

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Chinese state media launched the tirade against Gui Minhai, one of the five missing staff of Causeway Bay Bookshop in Hong Kong. Gui a Swedish national, went missing last October in Thailand. According to state-run media CCTV, Gui hit a female student in Ningbo to death after drinking in 2003, he was sentenced to two years in prison with two-year probation in 2004. “I began to be afraid of being jailed, I committed such a crime, and I cannot develop in China any more, so I decided to leave”, Gui said on CCTV.

CCTV said Gui left China with other's identity in November, 2004, he was still in probation period and was not allowed to leave China. CCTV said, Gui felt “fear” and “guilty” for years of exile, though he accumulated wealth by running business. According to the report, in June 2015, Gui heard the death of his father, he was regret that he could not meet his father at last time and his mother is over 80 years old, so he decided to surrender himself to police. Gui said on CCTV that he was willing to burden legal liabilities and wanted to apologize to the female student's relatives.

For his missing, Gui said it was his choice to return China to confess, he did not want any individuals or organizations to involve in this issue, or “hype up maliciously”. “I hope Swedish authorities respect my choice, rights and privacy”, said Gui on CCTV. CCTV said Gui was also suspected other crimes. Meanwhile, it is reported that another letter by Lee Bo, the one disappeared in late December, was released. According to Headline Daily, a newspaper affiliated by Sing Tao Daily, a pro-Beijing newspaper, Lee Bo's wife got another letter from him. In this letter, Lee Bo accused Gui of involving illegal activities and said Lee was “immoral”. Lee was also accused of Gui making him embroiled in the incident.

The report said that Lee wrote in the letter that he did not want people to make a big stir about his spontaneous assistance with the investigation. The CCTV report was also questioned by netizens. According to a report in 2005, Gui was 46 when the accident happened (http://www.cntv.cn/program/lawtoday/20050411/100463.shtml), but the latest reported showed that Gui was born in 1964, which meant that Gui should be 39 when the accident happened. The age was not corresponding. Gui was reported to be taken away by a man in Pattaya, Thailand. Several people searched his apartment. Swedish authorities inquired Thai police after Gui's disappearance, Thai police told there was no departure record.

The Gui's confession video aired by CCTV seemed not consecutive, for his different hairstyle and sweater. The whereabouts of the five staff are still not known. According to Lam Woon-kwong, the executive councilor that Lee Bo was probably under detention.

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