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Hong Kong should recognize legal responsibility in murder case: Taiwan MAC

MAC chief asks for cooperation, Carrie Lam says she 'doesn't know" when suspect Chan Tong-kai will come to Taiwan

Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong (CNA photo)

Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam's statement on Tuesday (Oct. 29) that she “does not know” when the murder suspect Chan Tong-kai (陳同佳) will be sent to Taiwan, both Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) have issued statements in response.

On Wednesday, MAC chief Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) responded that Chan’s arrival in Taiwan is ultimately an issue of the Hong Kong government’s own sense of responsibility and Chan’s own determination to do what is right. Also on Wednesday, Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光), the TAO spokesman in China, claimed that Hong Kong is handling the incident and suggested that Taiwan is “conducting a political operation” with regards to the case.

The Hong Kong authorities under Carrie Lam have continued to evade responsibility for ensuring that Chan gets to Taiwan, where the murder of his girlfriend Poon Hiu-wing (潘曉穎) occurred in early 2018. Despite the fact that Chan confessed to the crime while in custody of Hong Kong's justice system, where he served over a year on minor charges related to the murder, the Hong Kong government now refuses to involve itself further with Chan’s prosecution for the crime.

On Tuesday, Lam said that Chan is now fearful he will not receive a fair trial in Taiwan, which may be an indication that his travel arrangements to the country face a considerable delay. Taiwan’s MAC continues to ask for Hong Kong’s cooperation in ensuring that Chan will face justice for the murder, reports CNA.

China’s TAO has characterized the legal debacle as a disagreement and an inability of Taiwan and Hong Kong to cooperate, according to CNA. However, Taiwan has consistently maintained open channels of communication pending cooperation on the part of the Hong Kong authorities.

Chen Ming-tong claims the Taiwanese government is in close contact with Hong Kong authorities on the issue, but he says they have so far offered no indication that they are willing to ensure Chan makes it to Taiwan, as they emphasize that he is a “free man” in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Minister Chen expressed his hope that Hong Kong would recognize its responsibility in the matter and that all parties will be able to work together to see justice done.