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Suitcase Murder: Hong Kong Security Bureau proposes new deal for extraditions with Taiwan

Security Bureau urges legal amendment in Legislative Council of Hong Kong citing the Poon Hiu-wing murder case

The suspect, Chen (L), and the victim, Poon (R) (Photo from social media)

The suspect, Chen (L), and the victim, Poon (R) (Photo from social media)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) –The case of the young man who killed his girlfriend, and disposed of her body in a suitcase in Taiwan, before fleeing back to his home in Hong Kong, has prompted the Hong Kong Security Bureau to propose an amendment to extradition law in Hong Kong, that would allow for arrangements with Taiwan.

In a letter to the Legislative Council on Security, the bureau has recommended an amendment to the extradition law, specifically citing a miscarriage of justice in the case of the murder of Poon Hiu-wing (潘曉穎) by Chan Tung-kai (陳同佳), which happened in Taipei in February of last year.

The Security Bureau is proposing a new approach to extradition whereby ad-hoc arrangements can be made between the Hong Kong government and foreign nations, as well as other regions of China. Scrapping a clause in Hong Kong’s existing law on extraditions would reportedly allow for extraditions on a case by case basis.

Currently the extradition law of the Special Administrative Region (SAR) expressly forbids the Hong Kong government from making exclusive agreements with “the government of any other part of the People’s Republic of China,” which from the perspective of the SAR, includes Taiwan.

In December 2018, the Shilin Prosecutors Office formally issued an arrest warrant for Chan Tung-kai who remains in police custody in Hong Kong, on inflated charges related to theft and obstruction of evidence in a crime.

Taiwan prosecutors requested the Ministry of Justice to refer the case to the Mainland Affairs Council in order to seek a special arrangement with the Hong Kong authorities. Officially, the Hong Kong authorities have not issued any statements or been in correspondence with Taiwan law enforcement.

The Hong Kong Security Bureau notes that under current extradition law, the legal process may require up to 49 days for an extradition order is approved, which could potentially provide plenty of time for suspects on bail to flee. In a message to the city’s Legislative Council, the bureau said “the existing arrangement is considered operationally impracticable,” reports Coconuts Hong Kong.

Under the newly proposed arrangement, an extradition order could be made with only a certificate and signature from the SAR’s chief executive, and it could be acted upon immediately. Hong Kong would also be permitted to perform extraditions with Taiwan if the measure is approved.

According to another report on Feb. 12, the mother of Poon Hiu-wing spoke to the media on Tuesday night and pleaded with lawmakers in Hong Kong to consider the change in the law so that justice might be served for her daughter.

She was quoted by the South China Morning Post.

“This is the only way justice can be served and until then, my daughter cannot rest in peace…At home, she was a good daughter. In school, she was a good student,” she said. “What did she do to deserve this? Our family never imagined that such a horrible thing could happen to such a nice girl.”

Taiwanese authorities await contact and actions by the Hong Kong authorities in order to proceed with an extradition arrangement.