SWEDEN are facing allegations of attempting a complex plot to “save” a Chinese bookseller.

Gui Minhai, a Honk Kong businessman with Swedish citizenship, was reportedly duped by a scheme designed to release him from Chinese detention.

Since 2015, Minhai has routinely been in custody and was prohibited from travelling abroad after allegations of “illegally providing national secrets and intelligence to overseas groups”, according to Chinese newspaper, The Global Times.

On 20 January, while en route to Beijing to see a Swedish doctor, Minhai, a suspected ALS patient, was arrested in the presence of two accompanying Swedish diplomats.

On Friday, he appeared on state television. He said: “Looking back, I might have become Sweden’s chess piece. My wonderful life has been ruined and I would never trust the Swedish ever again.”

The Global Times accused Sweden of attempting to “demonstrate its diplomatic heroism by ‘saving the bookseller’”.

The confession “changes nothing”, Katarina Byrenius, of the Swedish foreign ministry said.

“We continue to demand that our citizen be given the opportunity to meet with Swedish diplomatic staff and medical staff.”