The wife of a Hong Kong journalist detained on the mainland accused of spying says she is aware of rumours that he will be released soon but has received no news from the authorities. Mary Lau Man-yee says she is not raising her hopes that her husband, Ching Cheong, will be freed shortly. Speculation that he might be released followed comments made by Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen on Monday. Mr Tsang said the truth surrounding his case would emerge 'very soon'. Ms Lau said she had heard nothing from the mainland authorities about her husband's case since early this month. She said she applied early last month to visit Ching. She lodged her application with the Hong Kong Security Bureau, which was to refer it to the mainland. The bureau said yesterday it would not comment on individual cases. 'We are still awaiting the reply from the mainland. According to mainland law, there is a possibility for my husband to receive family members,' Ms Lau said. Under the mainland's Criminal Procedure Law, suspects held under house arrest are not allowed visitors without approval from law enforcement agencies. Ms Lau said she had been told by Ching's colleagues at The Straits Times in Singapore that her 55-year-old husband was being detained at a two-star hotel in Beijing. A document listing the conditions under which he is being detained was issued by the Beijing National Security Bureau on April 23 and delivered to Ms Lau on June 3. Ching, a senior China correspondent, has been held under house arrest since late April. One theory is that the mainland could release Ching soon to provide Mr Tsang with an 'achievement' after taking up the top post last week. National People's Congress deputy Allen Lee Peng-fei talked to mainland officials yesterday but said he had no good news to report on the case. Law Yuk-kai, director of Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, said 3,000 badges calling for Ching's release would be handed out to marchers in the July 1 rally. 'Of course, it would be good if the central government releases Mr Ching soon to foster harmony in Hong Kong. But I don't think it will happen in the next few years,' Mr Law said.