HONG KONG — Police are investigating more than 500 forged letters sent to Hong Kong officials who were seeking public opinion on political reform, the government said Friday.
An official in the British colony, which will return to China in 1997, said 503 people who were sent acknowledgments of their opinions had denied giving any.
"I don't think it affects the survey. The fake petitions will be excluded," said John Chan, an adviser to the governor, Sir David Wilson. He declined to give details of the letters.
An office set up in May to collect opinions on possible democratic reforms received more than 135,000 replies from the public by Sept. 30. More than 85,000 acknowledgments have been sent out.
Hong Kong is ruled by its governor, appointed by Britain, and by councils whose members are appointed by the governor or indirectly elected.