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Wife of Chinese ex-head of Interpol sues over disappearance

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FILE PHOTO: INTERPOL President Meng Hongwei poses during a visit to the headquarters of International Police Organisation in Lyon, France, May 8, 2018. Picture taken May 8, 2018. Jeff Pachoud/Pool via Reuters/File Photo

The wife of the former Chinese head of Interpol, who disappeared in China in September, said Monday she was suing the international police organisation for complicity in his detention.

Grace Meng, wife of Meng Hongwei, said she had filed a case at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, the world’s oldest arbitration body which rules on international disputes.

In a statement sent to AFP, Meng said that France-based Interpol had “failed to protect and assist my family and it is complicit in the internationally wrongful acts of its member country China”.

Meng vanished last September during a visit to China before being accused of accepting bribes.

Looking grey and gaunt as he appeared in a Chinese court on June 20, the former vice minister of public security pleaded guilty to accepting $2.1 million (1.9 million euros) in bribes.

His wife and two children have since been granted political asylum in France, a decision condemned by Beijing as “an abuse of French legal procedures”.

Meng, who has lawyers in Paris and London, said the tribunal in The Hague would have to decide “whether my husband’s disappearance is only a matter for the relevant authorities in France and China, as alleged by Interpol, or whether Interpol itself breached its obligations owed to my family”.

She said that Interpol had threatened her with legal action for “speaking out”.

Interpol said that the legal action had been launched on April 26 and that proceedings were meant to be confidential.

It said “it disputes the allegations as legally baseless”.

It added: “Interpol forcefully disputes any allegations that it threatened Mrs Meng or that it is complicit in, or had any involvement with China’s actions against the former Vice Minister.”


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