HK tells Taipei to stop politicising murder suspect Chan-Tong Kai’s case and clear path for him to face justice in Taiwan

28-Oct-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 7:00 AM Print This Post

Hong Kong has urged Taiwan to stop politicising the case of a murder suspect whose case ignited the city’s extradition bill crisis and to clear the hurdles for his surrender to the self-ruled island as soon as possible.

“Taiwan should not irresponsibly question Chan [Tong-kai]‘s motivation and politicise the case, as Chan is a remorseful young man and he is willing to face his guilt,” the government said in a statement on Friday night.

Chan is accused of murdering his pregnant girlfriend Poon Hiu-wing in Taiwan last year before fleeing back to Hong Kong.

Earlier in the day, an Anglican priest who is assisting the 20-year-old denied accusations that Chan’s voluntary surrender to Taiwan was a plot initiated by the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang (KMT).

. (South China Morning Post)

(South China Morning Post)

Reverend Canon Peter Koon Ho-ming made it clear he took the initiative to visit Chan in jail about six months ago after learning the suspect had graduated from a secondary school run by his church.

Koon also said on Friday that Chan would not be flying to Taiwan over the weekend.

“Tong-kai needs to spend some time with his family. I will invite the lawyers from Taiwan to analyse the situation and discuss it with him and his parents,” he said.

Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang had accused the KMT of manipulating Chan’s surrender. Su said it was suspicious that Koon ‘a member of the Beijing municipal committee of the mainland’s top advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) ‘had contacted a Taipei-based law firm, called Lee and Li, to handle Chan’s case.

A senior partner at the law firm is Chen Charng-ven, a 74-year-old veteran lawyer and a good friend of the KMT’s ex-president Ma Ying-jeou. Chen said on Thursday he met Koon in early July to discuss Chan’s case.

“[Ma's] lawyer defends a murderer … and a CPPCC pastor acts as a middleman,” Su said.

“If you hold up the mirror to the devil, the devil and the devil within the devil will reveal themselves one after the other.”

Ma denied the allegation and said it was “humiliating” for a premier to make such comments.

“That a dignified administrative minister takes the lead in spreading rumours, making insinuations and smears, without talking about how the government will handle the case to give justice to the victim … this is humiliating,” he said.

Koon told the Post Su had got it wrong and that Chen was not in the three-lawyer team from Lee and Li that was handling Chan’s case. He said his choice of the law firm had nothing to do with Chen or the KMT.

“I wasn’t aware of Chen’s political background. I chose Lee and Li because it’s famous and it’s a large firm in Taiwan. It was recommended by my friends who do business in Taiwan,” he said.

A source also denied media reports that an unnamed KMT-friendly lawyer had proposed to the Hong Kong government that Chan’s voluntary surrender would help to end social unrest in the city.

Koon reiterated that before visiting Chan, he had visited other young prisoners on a regular basis. In a reference to the murder victim, Koon said: “Both Poon and Chan graduated from schools run by Sheng Kung Hui.”

One major hurdle for both sides is the transfer of evidence that Hong Kong is holding, including Chan’s murder confession to local police, given the lack of a mutual legal assistance deal between the two sides.

While Hong Kong justice secretary Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah said on Wednesday that Chan could have autonomy on what evidence to take to Taiwan, sources said Taipei remained adamant that the Hong Kong government needed to transfer key documents through official channels.

But a source in Taipei said the Hong Kong and Taiwan authorities had been in touch through their existing mechanisms to discuss the case, while another source, in Hong Kong, said the Security Bureau and police were responsible for liaising with the Taiwan side.

“The Chief Executive’s Office, the Department of Justice and the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau are also involved in giving advice,” he said.



Category: Hong Kong

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