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Mother, wife of detained Taiwanese activist to return to Taiwan

2017/09/12 12:45:12

Lee Ming-che's wife Lee Ching-yu

Yueyang, Hunan, Sept. 12 (CNA) Kuo Hsiu-chin (郭秀秦) and Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), the mother and wife of Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲), who is being held in Hunan Province, China, are scheduled to return to Taiwan late on Tuesday after attending a court hearing in which Lee pleased guilty on Monday.

Kuo, Lee Ching-yu and friends are scheduled to take a 4:30 p.m. flight, taking off from Changsha back to Taiwan.

On Monday, Lee Ming-che pleaded guilty to "subversion of state power" during a brief court appearance at a hearing held by the Yueyang City Intermediate People's Court.

During the trial, Lee admitted to intentionally disseminating information and articles attacking the Chinese Communist system and the Chinese government.

Lee wrote an open letter to his wife, dated Aug. 29, that appeared on the "Free Human Rights Activist Li Ming Che" Facebook page on Monday.

That letter asked her to follow the instructions of his two Chinese lawyers while in China for the court hearing. Many legal experts in Taiwan said the court proceedings appeared scripted by the Chinese authorities.

Lee's wife, issued a statement on Monday indicating she has been "exhausted" by her husband's detention and the trial. Friends said she needs time to rest.

Lee went missing after entering China via Macao on March 19 and was later confirmed as having been detained.

The Chinese government indicated in May that he had been arrested and charged with subverting state power.

At the end of August, Lee wrote to his wife asking her to send him 2,000 Chinese yuan (US$303) to pay his medical costs and an additional 200 yuan for living expenses each month.

Lee's mother, has entrusted Taiwanese businessmen in Hunan to wire the money to her son before she leaves China, according to Kuo's friends.

Sources from legal circles in Beijing said the court is expected to rule on Lee's case in three months after his confession.

After the trial, Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Monday urged the authorities in China to release Lee and ensure his safe return to Taiwan.

(By Chiu Kuo-chiang and Frances Huang)