An application to revoke the arrest warrant for Oriental Daily News co-founder Ma Sik-chun was not made by police, the police commissioner said.
The case will be heard in the High Court tomorrow before Mr Justice Andrew Chan Hing-wai. It remains unclear who made the application.
Ma, also known as Ma Yik-shing, was charged in August 1977 with conspiracy to traffic morphine and opium between 1969 and 1973. He skipped bail and fled to Taiwan by boat in September 1978.
He and his older brother, Ma Sik-yu, founded Oriental Daily News in 1969 after moving to Hong Kong from Chaozhou in Guangdong. Ma Sik-chun was publisher of the newspaper when he fled to Taiwan.
Police commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung said yesterday the force had nothing to do with the attempt to revoke the warrant. "We will monitor the result of the application," he said after attending a parade at the police college in Wong Chuk Hang.
Ma Sik-yu fled a year before his younger brother. The pair lived together in Taiwan until Ma Sik-yu died in 1992. In 1996, Ma Sik-chun's lawyer contacted the government to find out what would happen if Ma returned.
Meanwhile, Tsang also touched on a debate on national security. He said police could handle the city's internal issues.
The comment came after Basic Law Committee member Professor Rao Geping suggested mainland security laws be applied in Hong Kong until the city enacts legislation under Article 23 of the mini-constitution.