Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice has urged the Hong Kong authorities to continue to keep murder suspect Chan Tong-kai in custody. The case of the 20-year-old Hongkonger sparked the extradition bill crisis earlier this year.
Whilst under police caution, Chan admitted to killing his 20-year-old Hong Kong girlfriend Poon Hiu-wing in Taiwan last February. Chan fled back to Hong Kong after the incident, but authorities were unable to charge him with murder in local courts and there was no extradition agreement with Taiwan.
Chan was sentenced to 29 months in jail in April for money laundering in relation to cash and valuables he took from his deceased girlfriend. However, he could be released next week owing to time in custody and good behaviour.
The Hong Kong government proposed a new extradition law in order to send Chan to Taiwan for trial, but the bill controversially included provisions to send suspects to mainland China, sparking mass protests. The demonstrations, now in their 19th week, have evolved into a wider movement seeking democracy and accountability for alleged police brutality.
On Thursday, the Taiwan Ministry of Justice said it understood that the Hong Kong authorities had gathered evidence in Hong Kong which was not passed on to their Taiwan counterpart. The ministry said the Hong Kong authorities suspected Chan had planned the murder in Hong Kong before arriving in Taiwan.
“It is not the case that Hong Kong has no jurisdiction,” the ministry said.
It said Hong Kong authorities should continue to hold Chan in custody and continue pursuing the case: “We will quickly provide the relevant evidence in Taiwan on an equal, dignified and mutually beneficial basis, so that the Hong Kong side will have the full evidence from Taiwan and Hong Kong, in order to investigate the truth and seek criminal liability for justice,” the ministry said.
The ministry said the relevant prosecutors had offered to help the Hong Kong authorities gather evidence in Taiwan last March and April, but they received no response.
The Hong Kong government also rejected alternative proposals to extradition tabled by several pro-democracy lawmakers.
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