Liaison office says extradition law fears stirred up for ulterior motivesLocal | 15 May 2019 7:16 pm
Beijing’s liaison office issued a statement today urging Hong Kong people to reject rumors and “man-made fears” about the SAR's planned new extradition laws that it said are being spread by people “with an ulterior motive.''
The statement said that director, Wang Zhimin, chaired a leadership meeting yesterday where it was agreed that the proposed changes to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance have sufficient legal basis and are urgent.
It said under the "One Country, Two Systems" principle, Hong Kong and the mainland should respect, trust and support each other and Beijing believes the public will be able to understand the efforts the SAR government is making.
The statement, posted on the office's website, also said it is high time for Hong Kong to amend its laws on extraditions because since the handover the mainland has sent 260 crime suspects back to the SAR, while no wanted people have been surrendered in the opposite direction.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Security Bureau issued a statement reiterating the government’s position that the mainland was not deliberately excluded from the existing Fugitive Offenders Ordinance when it was enacted in 1997.
The statement adds that it is still a goal of the SAR government to reach a long-term extradition agreement with the mainland.
The bureau was responding to a set of questions submitted by a legal adviser for the Legislative Council, who had asked whether there has been a change in the officials' approach in dealing with the handover of crime suspects to the mainland.
Critics of the plans to allow extraditions to any jurisdiction in the world on a case-by-case basis say they fear mainland authorities will demand the surrender of people they want to get hold of for political reasons and that charges will be fabricated to make sure the SAR agrees to rendition requests.-Photo: RTHK