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Zain Dean's extradition hearing to continue Jan. 29
Central News Agency
2014-01-10 07:36 PM
London, Jan. 9 (CNA) The second day of an extradition hearing involving a British national convicted in Taiwan in a fatal hit-and-run case ended in Edinburgh on Thursday after more than five hours with the local court setting a date for the next hearing. Sheriff Kenneth Maciver announced that the hearing would continue on Jan. 29, with the British national, Zain Dean, remaining in custody until then. During Thursday's hearing at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Taiwan cleared a major hurdle in its bid to have Dean extradited when Maciver acknowledged Taiwan's status as a "territory," enabling the court to enter formal proceedings. Dean's lawyers had argued that Taiwan is not a sovereign independent territory and does not have formal diplomatic relations with Britain and was therefore not eligible to have the British national extradited. Maciver disagreed, saying that a memorandum of understanding signed by the U.K. and Taiwan on Oct. 16 to extradite Dean showed Britain's acknowledgement of Taiwan as a "territory." The judge added that his personal view was the same as that of the British government, sending the trial into a new stage. Formal proceedings on Jan. 29 will focus on whether Dean received a fair trial in Taiwan in conformity with the European Convention on Human Rights. On the following two days, on Jan. 30 and 31, the court will determine if Dean's personal safety is at risk if he is extradited to Taiwan to serve his sentence. Dean fled Taiwan using a friend's passport in 2012 shortly before he was due to begin serving a four-year prison term for the 2010 death of a newspaper delivery man riding a motorcycle after he was struck by Dean's car. Dean, who had worked and lived in Taiwan for several years at the time, was drunk when the incident occurred but has maintained his innocence, saying that an employee at the establishment where he had been drinking earlier in the night was the one behind the wheel. He has also argued that the trial was badly flawed, with no direct evidence presented tying him to the crime. Dean has also pushed for video of the incident from roadside surveillance cameras to be released, to no avail. (By Jennifer Huang and Lilian Wu)
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