Interpol president resigns after being detained in China
Interpol president resigns after being detained in China
Meng under investigation: China breaks silence on Interpol director disappearance
08 October, 2018, 09:28
Meng, the first Chinese president of Interpol, was last heard from on September 25 as he left Lyon where the world police body is based for China. The one-sentence announcement about his being the focus of an investigation, issued when it was almost midnight in China, said only that Meng was in the custody of party investigators. It did not say why.
Some of them might have been pursued by Chinese authorities under Meng's watch as vice minister for public security.
Mr Meng, who is also listed as a vice-minister of public security in China, was reported missing after travelling from the city of Lyon in France, where Interpol is based, to China.
Senior Vice President Kim Jong Yang of South Korea will become acting president, pending the election of a successor.
Interpol said in a statement it was "aware" of the Meng's alleged disappearance, but that France and China was responsible for the investigation.
China's antigraft watchdog said late on Sunday that the Chinese authorities were investigating Meng Hongwei, who heads the global law enforcement organization Interpol, for suspected violations of the law.
The announcement came shortly after China's top anti-corruption body said that Meng is under investigation in that country, ending days of speculation about his whereabouts but still leaving many questions unanswered.
Critics of Meng's 2016 election to Interpol's presidency said he would use the position to help China target dissidents overseas under the guise of pursuing corrupt officials.
The wife of Interpol's president made an impassioned plea Sunday for help in bringing her missing husband to safety, saying she thinks he sent an image of a knife before he disappeared in China as a way to warn her he was in danger.
Mrs Meng said she has had no further contact with her husband since she received the knife image on 25 September.
A journalist holds the mobile phone of the wife of missing Interpol President Meng Hongwey, showing what she says is the last message exchanged with her husband, during a press conference on October 7, 2018 in Lyon. She added, "Although I can't see my husband, we are always connected by heart".
When Meng was named Interpol's president in November 2016, human-rights groups expressed concern that Beijing might try to leverage his position to pursue dissidents overseas.
The Interpol statement did not say exactly why Meng resigned.
The 36-year-old took to China's Twitter-like Weibo to acknowledge her wrongs, beg for her supporters" forgiveness, and apologise to "society, the friends who care about me, the public and the national tax authorities'.
Local French media reported that Meng's wife had issued a brief statement from a hotel in Lyon, in which she expressed her concerns over the situation.
Mrs Meng would not speculate on what might have happened to her husband.
She said she was taking the unusual step of speaking out because she felt a greater responsibility.
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