Leading Hong Kong pro-democracy campaigner and prominent Catholic layman Martin Lee said on Saturday that he had been the target of an assassination plot during the 2008 elections.
Lee, who founded the city's Democratic Party, said two men had been arrested over the plot, which he said was foiled by police in August last year, AFP reports. They were expected to stand trial "soon," he added.
Police arrested an alleged hitman from the Chinese mainland and a Hong Kong accomplice and seized a pistol and ammunition, the South China Morning Post reported.
A police spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
"I was never afraid because, as a Catholic, death to me is just like pushing the door open to another life," Lee told reporters, after a meeting with US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is on a trip to China.
Lee said he had been asked by police not to reveal the information, but had confirmed the story when contacted by a reporter this week.
The 70-year-old, who stepped down as a legislator last July, said he did not know who was behind the plot, but said the public exposure of the story may provide a warning.
"I hope the publication of the story will send a certain message to (whoever is behind the plot) that the police will still be trying to get to him or her," he said, without elaborating.
Hong Kong democrat says he was target of assassination plot (Sin Chew Daily
Martin Lee (Wikipedia)