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A precedent in extradition between Republic of China and the United Kingdom to achieve justice

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With respect to our country’s request for the extradition of British citizen Zain Taj Dean who fled after killing a newsboy while driving drunk, the Edinburgh Sheriff Court, on the morning of June 11 local time, upheld a decision to extradite the said person back to Taiwan to serve his sentence. It not only creates a good precedent in mutual legal assistance between Taiwan and U.K., but also exemplifies the first case of extraditing a fugitive from abroad. After being sentenced to four years imprisonment by the court for drunk driving, involuntary manslaughter and hit-and-run, Zain Taj Dean fraudulently used his friend’s passport to abscond from the country in August 2012. Subsequently, the Taiwan Taipei District Prosecutors Office (TDPO), through the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and Taipei Representative Office in the U.K, negotiated with Britain to confirm the location and request extradition of this person in January, 2013. Both parties then began to negotiate the contents of the extradition pact in September of the same year. On October 16 2014, the “Memorandum of Understanding Concerning the Extradition of Zain Taj Dean" (hereinafter referred to as the “MOU”) was signed separately in Taiwan and in Britain, and came into effect on the same day. Immediately, MOJ requested for extradition and provisional arrest according to such MOU. Zain Taj Dean was arrested by Scottish Police on the 17th of that month and has been in custody by decree of the Edinburgh Sheriff Court ever since. Regardless of Zain Taj Dean’s several appeals for bail, it has been denied by Edinburgh Sheriff Court. During the trial, Zain Taj Dean repeatedly accused our country of violations of Article 2 Right to Life, Article 3 Prohibition of Torture and Article 6 Right to a Fair Trail under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), in response to which the Court convened 17 hearings to conduct a detailed investigation of his claims against our country. The Taipei Representative Office in the U.K always dispatched personnel to attend each trial and returned related information back to Taiwan. TDPO and MOJ, targeting each point of contention, provided full and detailed information to Scottish prosecutors for their thorough defense in court. Meanwhile, MOJ also declared that Zain Taj Dean will not be imposed the death penalty in the case, and gave an explanation of the actual status of correctional practices in our prisons, which enabled the Edinburgh Sheriff Court to determine that Zain Taj Dean had obtained a fair trial in the judicial procedures of our country and his interest in the implementation of correction had also been fully protected. Thus, the Court decided to extradite this person back to our country. Although the Edinburgh Sheriff Court has already made the extradition decision, this case still has to be reviewed by the Scottish Ministers. If the ruling is approved, Zain Taj Dean has 14 days to file an appeal to the High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh. MOJ will continue to work with MOFA and Taipei Representative Office in the U.K to grasp the development and progress of this case in order to extradite Zain Taj Dean back to Taiwan as early as possible so as to achieve Justice. Furthermore, our civil sentence for claim of civil compensation to Zain Taj Dean brought by victim’s family was admitted by the British Royal Court of Justice and can be executed accordingly.

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