‘China using terror tactics against my family’ , businessman claims
A highly anticipated interview of a wanted Chinese tycoon was aborted halfway through without explanation on Wednesday. The interview with Guo Wengui, the subject of an Interpol red notice, was originally scheduled for three hours, but it was suddenly cut short, with only an apology from the presenter. In the interview, Guo claimed Beijing was using “terror” tactics against him and his family to cover up evidence he had of corruption at the highest levels of government. He levelled his allegations against Chinese authorities after China’s foreign ministry confirmed that Interpol issued a “red notice” – a request to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition – for Guo. He also rejected claims of corruption against him. Guo, who claims to have passports from the United States, the European Union and nine other foreign jurisdictions, said many Chinese officials had passed on evidence of graft to him while he had been overseas. “If they weren’ t so corrupt, they wouldn’ t be so scared of me, ” Guo said, claiming Chinese authorities had harassed and detained eight of his relatives and many of his employees. In the interview, Guo said he had not used any form of mainland Chinese identification in 28 years and that estimates of his wealth, at around 120 billion yuan (US$17.4 billion) were based on assets belonging to companies controlled by his family. The reported earlier on Wednesday that Interpol issued the red notice at China’s request. Sources briefed on the notice said Guo, who has close ties to disgraced former state security vice-minister Ma Jian, was suspected of giving Ma 60 million yuan in bribes. Ma is under investigation for corruption. Guo said he met officials from China’s graft-busting Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Communist Party’s Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission in London last year about Ma’s case, adding that facts of the case differed from the allegations in the red notice.
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