Try these eight crimes in SAR, says lawmaker

Democratic Party lawmaker Andrew Wan Siu-kin is to table a new proposal on the SAR's extradition laws, aiming to give Hong Kong courts powers to handle, for instance, the case of a murder allegedly committed by a local man in Taiwan.

Phoenix Un

Monday, May 06, 2019

Democratic Party lawmaker Andrew Wan Siu-kin is to table a new proposal on the SAR's extradition laws, aiming to give Hong Kong courts powers to handle, for instance, the case of a murder allegedly committed by a local man in Taiwan.

Civic Party leader Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu had already announced an intention to table a private member's bill to amend the Offences against the Person Ordinance to give SAR courts extraterritorial jurisdiction over serious crimes committed elsewhere.

The proposal advanced by Wan yesterday is for a private member's bill to amend the Criminal Jurisdiction Ordinance, saying this law already states that Hong Kong courts have jurisdiction over crimes such as theft and fraud even if the alleged wrongdoing did not take place in the SAR.

Wan said his amendment aimed to add eight crimes to the list so Hong Kong courts could also hear serious cases such as murder and manslaughter.

"No matter it's the person murdered or the person committing murder is a Hongkonger, Hong Kong courts may handle the cases," Wan proposed.

He said he would hand in the bill to the Department of Justice, hoping the DoJ would not procrastinate so his bill could be tabled in the legislature as soon as possible.

He also slammed the administration for ignoring 130,000 protesters last month and continuing with the fugitive law amendment, which he criticized as installing a "systematic loophole" in Hong Kong laws. "It's setting up a guillotine for Hongkongers and pushing them to death," Wan said. "Hong Kong's ranking in rule of law worldwide is 16th, and now the government tries to send us to a place with a rule of law ranking at 82nd."

That was a reference to the mainland.

Wan also said his was similar to Yeung's amendment as both were technically feasible and did not involve government spending.

University of Hong Kong principal lecturer of law Eric Cheung Tat-ming said both Wan and Yeung's law amendment proposals would work in terms of allowing Taiwan murder suspect Chan Tong-kai to be tried in Hong Kong.

"Just like the fact that Hong Kong has jurisdiction over sexual harassment cases happening overseas, the amendments would give power to Hong Kong courts to try, and the only difference is in a technical sense," he said.

He also said the last section of the Criminal Jurisdiction Ordinance might give rise to concerns about retrospective power as it stated "nothing in this ordinance applies to any act before the coming into force of this ordinance."

University of Hong Kong professor of law Albert Chen Hung-yee also endorsed legislator Michael Tien Puk-sun's suggestion that Hong Kong should prosecute its citizens in Hong Kong.

"Just as it is commonly provided in extradition treaties that where Hong Kong exercises its right not to extradite a Chinese national, the requesting state may request that Hong Kong initiate proceedings to prosecute the person concerned in Hong Kong," Chen wrote in his blog last week.