Government officials say Beijing isn't pressuring them to hand over bookseller Lam Wing-kee and mainland security laws don't apply here.
Briefing the media about a meeting between Hong Kong and central government officials about the notification mechanism between the two sides, Chief Executive CY Leung said he was concerned about Lam's claim that he felt his personal safety was under threat.
Lam made the claim in an interview with local newspaper Mingpao on Wednesday.
But the Secretary for Security, Lai Tung-kwok, said police have looked into Lam’s claims and found that a car that had been tailing him belonged to a media organisation.
When asked whether the SAR is under more pressure to turn over Lam, Lai said: “we’ll handle all cases in accordance with the laws of Hong Kong”.
The acting Police Commissioner, Wong Chi-hung, said police will further assess whether Lam is safe, and will offer necessary protection.
“We will be in contact with Lam. We will re-assess the risk that he is facing, if there’s any,” he said. “And then we will provide suitable measures to counter those so-called risks.”
The Chief Executive said that the talks had achieved the intended results. He said both sides have agreed to send notification of any cross-border arrests within 14 days, together with details about the suspected offences. He said the two sides will also work on including all law-enforcement agencies.
Leung said a second round of discussions will be held at the end of this month.
At the meeting in Beijing on Tuesday, the high-level SAR delegation – led by the security chief and the Justice Secretary Rimsky Yuen – were told that Lam was a wanted man and should return to the mainland to face charges.
They were also shown a video of Lam eating meals, having a haircut and getting his blood pressure checked as evidence he was well treated during his detention. Lam on his return to Hong Kong after he was kidnapped by security officials, he was detained in a dingy room for weeks and not allowed to contact anyone outside.
Lam and his four colleagues linked to Causeway Bay bookstore disappeared one by one last year before reappearing on the mainland months later. Their bookstore used to sell titles which targeted central government leaders.