Wife of ex-Interpol director recounts getting chilling call

AP, LYON, France

Thu, Oct 11, 2018 - Page 1

The call came at night and was chilling.

“You listen, but you don’t speak,” the man on the other end said. “We’ve come in two work teams, two work teams just for you.”

In her first one-on-one interview since her husband’s disappearance in China, the wife of the former head of Interpol described the threatening telephone call that prompted authorities in the French city where the international law enforcement agency is headquartered to place her under police protection.

French authorities are still trying to determine whether China did indeed, as the mysterious caller menaced, dispatch agents to get to Grace Meng, the wife of Meng Hongwei (孟宏偉).

However, she has good reason to be fearful: Speaking out about the fate of her high-profile husband risks China’s ire and is putting her “in great danger,” she said, but added that she hopes doing so will help other families in similar circumstances.

The man who called her on her cellphone spoke in Chinese, she said.

She said the only clue he gave about his identity was saying that he used to work for Meng Hongwei, suggesting that the man was part of China’s security apparatus.

He also said that he knew where she was.

“Just imagine: My husband was missing, my kids were asleep, all my other phones weren’t working, and that was the only call I got. I was so frightened,” she said.

By speaking out, she has taken a step practically unheard of in Chinese politics, where such moves are seen as confrontational.