Hong Kong Free Press
Date: 16 February 2019
The case of Chan Tong-kai, which has slumbered in obscurity since last February, has ignited a small political and legal explosion.
Mr Chan was arrested after his girlfriend died in what we used to call “suspicious
circumstances” while the couple were on holiday in Taiwan. He hastened back to Hong Kong before this was discovered and the Taiwan police would now like him, as we also used to say, “to help with their inquiries”.
To this end they have asked for him to be sent back to Taiwan. Mr Chan was promptly arrested and charged with some rather technical offences which can be seen as having taken place in Hong Kong. He cannot be tried in Hong Kong for murder, or indeed for any other crime he may be suspected of committing in Taiwan, because the Hong Kong courts have no jurisdiction outside the territory.
Normally you would expect Mr Chan to be extradited to the place where his alleged crime was committed. But this is tricky. Hong Kong has extradition agreements with 20 countries, including Australia, the US and UK. China is not one of them. Taiwan is, of course, not mentioned at all.
The Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, which governs such matters, specifically excludes any such arrangement with the People’s Republic of China. I don’t know why the Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters Ordinance comes up in this context, because it does not cover the surrender of suspects, but it excludes China also. [FULL STORY]