TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After refusing to accept the surrender of a Hong Kong murder suspect without the official cooperation of the Special Administrative Region's government, Taiwan on Tuesday (Oct. 22) reversed its stance and said that it would send officers to apprehend him.
On Oct. 18, news broke that Chan Tong-kai (陳同佳), the suspect in the Taiwan murder case that sparked months of protests in Hong Kong, would surrender himself to face trial in Taiwan after being released from prison on Oct. 23. However, the Taiwanese government refused to accept him, insisting that Hong Kong's government should handle the case first since both the suspect and the victim are from Hong Kong.
Taiwan's government insisted on Tuesday that the suspect should only be handed over under the principle of mutual legal assistance after a proper criminal investigation is carried out in Hong Kong. In a reversal of policy, Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正), deputy head and spokesman of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), announced they had requested that the Hong Kong government allow them to dispatch police officers and prosecutors to bring Chan to Taiwan, reported CNA.
In a press release posted at 12:25 a.m., the Hong Kong government rejected Taiwan's request and said that such cross-border enforcement was unacceptable and did not respect Hong Kong's jurisdiction, reported CNA. The press release stated that Taiwan's offer of judicial assistance to deal with the case is only an excuse and has nothing to do with Chan's "voluntary surrender."
According to the press release, Chan can choose who will accompany him to Taiwan. Only when he arrives in Taiwan can local authorities arrest him and deal with him without any judicial assistance on the part of Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong government wrote that the assistance provided by Hong Kong is based on Chen Tong-kai's request and must also be carried out in a manner that respects its laws and systems. According to the press release, if Taiwan is willing to deal with Chan's surrender, it should immediately lift the immigration controls on him so as not to have contradictory orders.
Chan is the chief suspect in the murder of his pregnant girlfriend, which took place while the two were on vacation in Taiwan in February of last year. He allegedly stuffed her body in a suitcase, which he then hid next to a Taipei MRT station before fleeing back to Hong Kong.