In a curious confession televised on state broadcaster CCTV, missing Hong Kong bookseller Gui Minhai has said he voluntarily returned to the Chinese mainland to stand trial for killing a college student while drunk driving.
The report states that Gui had fled the mainland more than 10 years ago after being convicted for drunk driving in August 2004. He was allegedly sentenced to two years in prison after he struck and killed a young female college student in December 2003.
In the broadcast, Gui says he returned to the mainland of his own accord, and revealed that he is a Swedish national:
Turning myself in is a voluntary choice of my own, and has nothing to do with anybody else. This is my due responsibility. I do not want anyone or any institution to be involved or get in the way of my returning, nor do I want any malicious media hype.
Although I now hold the Swedish citizenship, deep down I still think of myself as a Chinese. My roots are in China. I hope the Swedish authorities would respect my personal choices, my rights and my privacy, and allow myself to deal with my own issues.
I am taking my legal responsibilities, and am willing to accept any punishment.
The Xinhua report alleges that Gui was found with 114 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, and that he fled the country three months later fearing he would be imprisoned.
In the televised confession, Gui breaks into tears when he recalls how he was unable to fulfill his filial duties when his father passed away from cancer last year and his mother fell ill.
Following Gui Minhai’s disappearance from his apartment in Thailand last year, CCTV footage was leaked of the men suspected of kidnapping Gui. The Thai government, however, has done little to follow up on the case.
Questions still linger over the whereabouts of the other booksellers who mysteriously disappeared last year. The most prominent of the group, Lee Bo, appeared in a video last week where he assured viewers he had left Hong Kong for personal reasons, despite his travel documents being found at his Hong Kong residence.
Watch his televised confession on CCTV here: