Three Hong Kong booksellers to be freed on bail

Three of five missing Hong Kong booksellers to be freed on bail while investigation continues

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

A protester holds a mock missing person notice for Lee Bo, one of five Hong Kong booksellers from Mighty Current publishing house to go missing, as they walk towards China's Liaison Office in Hong Kong on January 3, 2016

Three of five missing Hong Kong booksellers will be freed on bail, while mainland Chinese authorities continue their investigation, police say.

Hong Kong police said in a brief notice late on Wednesday that according to the public security department; Lui Por, Cheung Chi-ping and Lam Wing-kee will be "released on bail pending investigation in the coming few days."

The police authorities did not comment whether they would be allowed to return to Hong Kong or would have to remain in mainland China.

The publishing company that the five are associated with is specialized in books on sensitive Chinese political topics and they are prohibited in mainland.

Lui, Cheung and Lam vanished in October and then reappeared Sunday on Hong Kong-based pro-Beijing news channel Phoenix TV. On the TV show, they confessed helping Gui mail thousands of books illegally to mainland Chinese buyers.

Lee appeared in a separate interview with the same channel on Monday. He claimed he wasn't abducted but had sneaked illegally into the mainland to help authorities with an investigation.

Hong Kong police had said previously that the three were being investigated in a case involving a "person surnamed Gui," based on information from Guangdong public security officials.

TRTWorld, AP