Hong Kong Government Refuses Taiwans Offer to Transfer Murder Suspect

The Hong Kong government on Oct. 23 refused Taiwans offer to escort murder suspect Chan Tong-kai to the island to face prosecution.

This is the latest in the ongoing dispute between Hong Kong and Taiwan authorities over the murder case that became the Hong Kong governments impetus for introducing a controversial extradition bill, which has triggered ongoing mass protests since June.

Chan, a 21 year-old Hong Kong resident, is wanted in Taiwan for allegedly killing his 20-year-old girlfriend Poon Hiu-wing while they were visiting Taipei in February 2018. Poons body was found in a suitcase near a Taipei metro station.

Chan returned to Hong Kong before local authorities could investigate the crime. After Poons death, Chan withdrew cash from ATM machines using Poons bank card once in Taiwan and three times in Hong Kong, and also took Poons digital camera, smartphone, and other valuables.

Chan was arrested in Hong Kong on money laundering charges and sentenced to prison. Hong Kong authorities said they didnt charge Chan for murder due to lack of evidence.

Chan will be released Oct. 23.

Dispute

Taiwan authorities said they had sought to work out a mutual legal agreement with Hong Kong since November 2018 to transfer Chan back to the island, but the city had refused to sign a bilateral extradition treaty.

Using Chans case, the Hong Kong government proposed instead an extradition bill that would allow any country, including mainland China, to seek extradition of criminal suspects. It was formally withdrawn by city leader Carrie Lam in September, after millions of Hongkongers protested on the streets.

Hong Kong, which reverted to Chinese rule from British rule in 1997 with the express guarantee of autonomy, doesnt have an extradition agreement with Taiwan. Meanwhile, the Chinese regime doesnt recognize the Taiwanese government, as it considers the island part of its territory, despite it being self-ruled, with its own democratically elected government, currency, and military.

On the eve of Chans release on Oct. 18, the Hong Kong government announced that Chan wrote a letter to Lam saying he would like to surrender himself to Taiwanese authorities after his release.

Taiwan initially criticized the Hong Kong government for what it called “a political maneuver” in publicizing Chans letter, as it would demonstrate that the extradition bill was necessary, the government said in a statement.

Furthermore, it said Hong Kongs continual refusal to negotiate a bilateral treaty and transfer Chan under such terms was an act that “diminishes” Taiwans sovereignty by not treating it as a legitimate state, instead treating Taiwan as a part of China.

On Oct. 22, the Taiwan government said it sent a letter to Hong Kong counterparts requesting permission to send officers to escort Chan from Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Statement

The Hong Kong government released a statement in the early morning of Oct. 23, in which it rejected Taiwans request, saying that “the authority of Taiwan has no law enforcement power in Hong Kong.”

The statement called the offer “totally unacceptable” and suggested that the Taiwan government issue a visa to Chan and allow him to go to Taiwan himself and surrender to authorities.

It also repeated its argument that although Chan and Poon are Hongkongers, the citys judicial system is not responsible for the murder case because the alleged homicide occurred inRead More – Source