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Wife of Chinese ex-head of Interpol sues over disappearance

Wife of Chinese ex-head of Interpol sues over disappearance

Former Interpol president Meng Hongwei's wife Grace, seen talking to reporters in France in October after he went missing, has urged President Macron to bring up her husband's case with visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Photo: AFP/Jeff Pachoud)

PARIS: The wife of the former Chinese head of Interpol, who disappeared in China in September, said on Monday (Jul 8) that 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.

READ: Former Interpol chief pleads guilty to bribery: Chinese state media

Looking grey and gaunt as he appeared in a Chinese court on Jun 20, the former vice minister of public security pleaded guilty to accepting US$2.1 million 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 Apr 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."

Source: AFP/ga

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