Taiwan 'tricks' blamed as mom of murder victim calls for SAR trial

Local | Jane Cheung 23 Sep 2021

The murder case of Amber Poon Hiu-wing can show progress as long as Taiwanese authorities stop playing politics and allow the suspect, Chan Tong-kai, to fly to Taiwan for trial, the Security Bureau said.

The bureau was replying to Poon's mother, who released a voice recording to the media on Tuesday requesting the SAR government to hold the murder trial in Hong Kong.

The mother said that Tuesday was the fourth Mid-Autumn Festival after her daughter's death in Taiwan on a Valentine's Day trip with Chan in February 2018, and that she remains heartbroken.

She noted that Taiwan and Hong Kong authorities are still sticking very much to their own differing stances on handing Chan over to Taipei for trial and called for local authorities to try the murder in Hong Kong courts with extraterritorial jurisdiction.

"We really hope the government can handle my daughter's case within its term [by June] and lift the pain a little from us. This is our humble wish," she said.

But the bureau said that Hong Kong law only allows the use of evidence from criminal investigations in cases occurring within the SAR, adding authorities do not have the power to forcefully send Chan to Taiwan.

"The case happened in Taiwan, where authorities have already gathered key evidence. The case can come to an end as long as Taiwan stops its political tricks and allows Chan Tong-kai to head to Taiwan," a bureau spokesman said.

Reverend Peter Koon Ho-ming - the provincial secretary-general of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui who has been relaying messages from Chan - said he understood the mother's feelings.

When asked whether Chan, who has repeatedly said he will surrender himself to Taiwan, will set off for the island, Koon said that it depends on when Taiwanese authorities will approve his visa.

Chan, 22, was sentenced to 29 months in jail in Hong Kong for money laundering after stealing Poon's belongings and using her bank cards. He was released in October 2019 when the city was in the midst of being rocked by unrest triggered by a fugitive amendment bill sparked by Poon's murder.

At the time, Taiwan wished to send police officers to Hong Kong in order to escort Chan back to the island for trial, but gave up the idea after SAR authorities said it would be disrespectful for a non-local law enforcement body to take action within the city.

Taiwanese Mainland Affairs Council subsequently made a request for legal assistance to Hong Kong counterparts, adding they will only allow Chan's entry after reaching an agreement with the SAR.

However, Hong Kong police said the city's Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance does not apply to Taiwan.

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October 2021

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