MAC chief says Taiwan ready to receive Hong Kong murder suspect

Chen Ming-tong says HK will cooperate in turning over Chan Tong-kai to Taiwan authorities

Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong on Oct. 24 (CNA photo)

Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong on Oct. 24 (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After several days of mixed messages concerning self-confessed murder suspect Chan Tong-kai's (陳同佳) return from Hong Kong to Taiwan, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) chief Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) on Thursday (Oct. 24) made it clear that the country is prepared to receive the criminal.

Speaking at a hearing at the Legislative Yuan, Minister Chen was responding to a question from Kuomintang lawmaker Yu Chen (陳玉珍) when he brought up the case of Chan Tong-kai. Chen said that the government had established a cooperative mechanism via a communication pipeline between Hong Kong and Taiwan to ensure Chan's safe handover to the Taiwanese authorities.

The agreement, reportedly brokered between the two “Economic and Cultural Co-operation and Promotion Councils” (EECPC) of Taiwan and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, has established a window for cooperation in which Chan can be turned over to Taiwanese law enforcement officers. The Minister said it is incumbent on the Hong Kong government to inform the suspect and ensure his arrival in Taiwan during that window.

Chen stated that the government is preparing to move forward with the case and has no intention of letting the suspect escape justice. In a follow-up question, Legislator Yu asked about others living abroad who are suspected of committing crimes in Taiwan and whether they would be permitted entry if they also willingly returned to Taiwan.

Chen responded that this was an issue of aviation safety. He emphasized that all dangerous criminals traveling across international borders should be accompanied by law enforcement, reports Liberty Times.

In a likely dig at the Hong Kong government’s unwillingness to cooperate with Taiwan, the MAC chief said that a murderer flying without police escort would be a severe dereliction of duty. “If a known murderer is allowed to board an international flight, then that airline should be shut down and the government should also step down,” said Chen.