A POLICE officer who allegedly kept a 17-year-old boy in custody for six days in connection with a $9-million arson case confirmed yesterday that the teenager had been released. High Court Deputy Judge Daniell heard from Chief Inspector Lo Mung-lung that the boy, Liu Chak-lai, was freed at 5.15 pm on July 9 - a few hours after Mr Justice Bewley ordered the boy be released unconditionally. A return, a statement given after a habeas corpus is issued, originally came with an affidavit from Mr Lo, seeking to explain or justify the detention. But it was set aside by the judge, who agreed yesterday's hearing was not the correct place. Liu said he was arrested on July 3 for allegedly stealing $20 from a car. But although his mother paid his $5,000 bail, he was kept in a hotel room in Tai Po. Lui said he was not allowed to see anyone, including his parents, and it was not until July 8 that he was interviewed by his lawyer. An application for habeas corpus was filed the next day and was granted by Mr Justice Bewley, who adjourned the case to yesterday. Senior Crown Counsel S. H. Kwok, representing Mr Lo, told the court that Liu was a suspect in a major arson case, which occurred on July 3 in Yuen Long. Left-hand drive cars worth $9 million were damaged. Mr Kwok said Liu and his mother had requested police protection two days later and the request was granted, resulting in the boy being accommodated in a hotel room. However, his submission was cut short by the boy's counsel, Gerard McCoy, who objected to Mr Lo attaching his affidavit to the return. He argued it should not contain any evidence. If the officer wanted to give reasons for the detention, he could either appeal against Mr Justice Bewley's order or wait until a writ for damages for false imprisonment is served on him. He could then file a defence. A return was only to say whether he held the boy or not - and if not, to say when he was released in accordance with the court order, Mr McCoy said. His argument was accepted by Deputy Judge Daniell who reserved the issue of costs after Mr Lo had read out the return.