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Tuesday, July 5, 2016, 23:41

More details about case of HK bookseller emerge

By Shadow Li

HONG KONG - More details about the alleged crime committed on the mainland and admitted by Hong Kong bookseller Lam Wing-kee surfaced during Tuesday’s meeting between central government authorities and an SAR delegation in Beijing.

Lam claimed to have been detained illegally and tortured by the mainland law enforcers, which has been refuted by his girlfriend and a former colleague in a mainland library. More details about case of HK bookseller emerge

After Lam came back to Hong Kong in June, he was found in breach of bail conditions when he claimed at a press conference he would not go back to the mainland.

Police officers in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, who are in charge of Lam’s case, said the authorities has been unable to contact Lam. If Lam refuses to go back to the mainland for further investigation, mandatory criminal procedures will be made in accordance with the law.

Video clips documenting Lam’s life under surveillance were shown to the Hong Kong delegation on Tuesday in Beijing. The 15-minute video showed Lam confessing to violating mainland laws. He was eating, getting a haircut and having his blood pressure checked.

Lam, 61, was allegedly involved in illegal books trading on the mainland for years. In September 2012, he was found attempting to bring illegal books across the Luohu checkpoint. After that, Lam changed his tactics by changing the cover of the illegal books and mailing the illegal books directly from Hong Kong to his clients on the mainland or through his intermediary – his girlfriend surnamed Hu – on the mainland.

According to mainland authorities, a total of 368 illegal deals – amounting to more than 400,000 yuan ($60,000) – were made through Hu.

In October 2015, Lam and Hu were arrested for involvement in an illegal business operation. They then lived under residential surveillance.

According to the officers handling Lam’s case, Lam confessed to the charge, adding that those illegal books’ content were mostly fake and can be easily fabricated in one month by putting information online together.

On March 21, 2016, Lam was released on bail and arranged to work in a library in Shaoguan, a city in the north of Guangdong province, on Lam’s request when he said he can’t get along with his family in Hong Kong and would like to take a job, preferably related to books, in Guangdong.

But Lam changed his story when he made his public appearance in Hong Kong in June, accompanied by an opposition lawmaker. Lam’s high-profile appearance and remarks surprised his girlfriend, Hu, and former associates at the Shaoguan library.

Hu called Lam a “liar, selfish and irresponsible” after discovering that she was duped into distributing illegal books for him.

Lam’s story was also questioned by Chen Weiqing, curator of the Shaoguan library where Lam worked. Lam claimed to have been confined in the library, while Chen said Lam was allowed to walk freely. Lam even gained some weight during his time in Shaoguan.

stushadow@chinadailyhk.com

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