Philip Dykes says politics preventing extraditionsLocal | 19 Feb 2019 3:03 pm
The chairman of the Bar Association, Philip Dykes, says there is no "loophole" in Hong Kong's current legislation on the surrender of wanted criminals to other jurisdictions – contradicting the government's claim that a murder case last year highlighted a pressing need for the law to be changed.
The Chief Executive Carrie Lam reiterated today the official position, adding that time was of the essence to act following the murder of a Hong Kong woman in Taiwan last year.
The prime suspect for the killing is the woman's boyfriend – a Hong Kong teenager – who is in custody in the Hong Kong over related theft charges rather than the murder, because Hong Kong has not moved to send him back to Taiwan due to the lack of a formal extradition treaty.
In an exclusive interview with RTHK yesterday, Dykes was asked what he made of calls by pan-democratic legislators for Hong Kong to forge an arrangement solely with Taiwan on the return of fugitives, rather than amending ordinances which could also means suspects being handed over to the mainland.
But he said the relevant legislation does not have any loopholes and political considerations are the reason Hong Kong does not have an extradition arrangement with Taipei.
"Don't be distracted by the Taiwan murder. There is no loophole, as has been said. Because there are political reasons why there are no agreements with Taiwan," Dykes said.
"If you were putting a premium on having returnability for fugitives, and put that above political considerations, we would have had an agreement with Taiwan before now."
Speaking in a personal capacity, Dykes also said he was concerned that any Hong Kong people sent to the mainland under the amended legislation would not receive a fair trial and they would not enjoy the same legal protections afforded to them by the SAR. -Photo: RTHK