Murder suspect surrender deal to be ironed out

Top News | Maisy Mok 5 Oct 2020

Details of how murder suspect Chan Tong-kai can surrender to Taiwan authorities for allegedly killing his pregnant girlfriend in February 2018 will be hammered out this week, says Reverend Peter Koon Ho-ming.

Koon, who has been assisting Chan, said his Taiwan legal team will meet with authorities across the strait today to discuss arrangements.

He called on the public to allow 21-year-old Chan some space as details get worked out over the next few days.

Chan released a voice message on Friday through Koon, stressing he was determined to surrender.

That came after the mother of Poon Hiu-wing, Chan's girlfriend who he allegedly killed tin Taiwan, demanded he live up to his earlier promise in multiple media interviews.

Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council yesterday urged Chan and the Hong Kong government to take action to contact their "liaison point" or established channels as soon as possible.

The council said the liaison point was set up by Taiwan and Hong Kong police in October last year as a communication channel and that Chan can contact it anytime if he wishes to surrender.

The council stressed that the key to this case lies in Chan's willingness to surrender and the "sense of responsibility" of the Hong Kong government, which it slammed for failing to push the matter for the past year.

the council was responding to a statement at the weekend by Hong Kong Security Bureau, which said the "single-window" liaison point is merely a unilateral description adopted by Taiwan.

There is currently no law in Hong Kong allowing the government to handle legal assistance matters with Taiwan, the bureau said. It emphasized that the government cannot violate the law by providing relevant evidence on Chan's case to Taiwan.

The bureau added that the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance does not apply to Taiwan.

The government had proposed amending the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance last year to address the legal loophole, the bureau said.

But the amendments were withdrawn due to "the reactions of the community."

Taiwan had provided Hong Kong police with information that Chan could use to contact them. The force said it had already relayed this to Chan.

The government will provide feasible arrangements to assist Chan in going to Taiwan in accordance with the law.

"It is irresponsible for a lawmaker who, despite clearly knowing Hong Kong has no legal basis to provide evidence to Taiwan, makes misleading remarks that make people think the government can do so," a government spokesman said, referring to James To Kun-sun.

To, from the Democratic Party, said the government should explain its decision not to provide evidence to Taiwan, when there is no legal prohibition against seeking justice for a Hongkonger who is killed in Taiwan.

"As the Hong Kong government said there is no 'legal basis,' then why did the government request Taiwan provide evidence [two years ago] and accept evidence given by Taiwan without any legal basis?" To had posted on Facebook.

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