Lawmaker withdraws private bill allowing rendition of Taiwan murder suspect

Local | 18 Jul 2019 6:47 pm

Labour Party lawmaker Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung has decided to drop a private member's bill that would enable the possible extradition of a Hong Kong murder suspect to Taiwan, saying any move to do such a thing would only add to the fears of the public, RTHK reports. 

Cheung had announced earlier in the day that he wanted to help the family of a Hong Kong woman murdered in Taiwan and said there was a pressing need to amend the law so that the suspect can be surrendered to the island before he finishes a related prison term in Hong Kong for a money-laundering offence.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor had moved the now-suspended law amendments to surrender fugitives to any jurisdiction, including the mainland and Taiwan, citing similar reasons. 

The proposed law changes set off protests and sparked objections from legal experts, business chambers, opposition parties and students' organisations. 

Since June the opposition has grown with millions taking to the streets in protest and the ongoing campaign has led to political paralysis and seen violent clashes between police and protesters. 

But unlike the government's bill, the pro-democracy lawmaker said his private bill would have changed the part of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance that currently rules out extraditions to any other area of the People’s Republic of China, to only ruling out the surrender of fugitives to the mainland and Macau. 

Cheung later decided even this would create doubts in the minds of the public in the current atmosphere as the bill has created a deep rift within society. 

He said the introduction of his bill was to show the government that there were other less controversial ways to settle the Taiwan murder case problem.

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