The wife of Hong Kong journalist Ching Cheong, who has been in detention on the mainland for a year today, said his family was worried because the case had lingered for so long without progress. In a statement, Mary Lau Man-yee yesterday thanked members of the public for their care and support but deplored the 'endless waiting, anxiety and helplessness' for her and her family. Lau - also a journalist - quoted lawyers who had visited Ching recently as saying that he looked healthy but had lost weight. 'We are very worried. The case has lingered for a year. No progress seems to have been made,' she also said in an interview on RTHK. Mainland authorities announced in August that Ching, China correspondent for The Straits Times of Singapore, had been 'formally arrested' on charges of spying, four months after he was detained by the Ministry of State Security. The case was handed over to prosecutors in December but in an unusual move, it was sent to the ministry for review in February. The Ching Cheong Incident Concern Group, formed by a group of the journalist's close friends, yesterday said they were aware of reports that the case had been handed back to prosecutors. 'We understood from various sources that Mr Ching was still being kept in Beijing and the Ministry of State Security had finished its review and had handed the case back to the procuratorate last month,' spokesman Mak Chai-ming said. Mr Mak would not discuss the source of the information but said a decision on whether the case would be pursued could be reached as early as next week. He said Ching's friends believed he was innocent and that it was 'inhuman' to detain him for so long. In Hainan , Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said that he had raised Ching's case with the director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Liao Hui , yesterday. 'Mr Liao told me the central government was actively proceeding with the case,' said Mr Tsang. He also quoted Mr Liao as saying the mainland authorities appreciated Hong Kong's concerns and that it would be handled according to the mainland's legal processes. The Hong Kong Journalists Association has collected 400 signatures from local and overseas journalists in support of Ching's release, and will run an open letter in local newspapers today.