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June 15, 2019: Regarding Hong Kong Government’s announcement to suspend the amendment of Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, the Ministry of Justice explains as follows
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Hong Kong government uses the request for mutual legal assistance from Taiwan as an excuse for suddenly proposing the amendment of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, which has caused a high degree of international suspicion. The Ministry doesn’t support the direction of the amendment that has gone far away from the purpose of the simple mutual legal assistance and transfer of fugitive offenders between Taiwan and Hong Kong. It is impossible to conduct any transfer of fugitive offenders with Hong Kong according to the controversial ordinance.
Hong Kong government stated today that because the Taiwan government refused to accept the criminal of the murder under the ordinance, they temporarily suspended the amendment. Hong Kong government intends to blur the concern of the amendment against human rights and case disputes. The Ministry refuted strictly it's passing the buck.
The Ministry reaffirmed that only based on equality, dignity, reciprocity, and the protection of human rights can we promote the mutual legal assistance mechanisms between two sides to implement the realization of judicial justice and demonstrate the universal value of human rights protection. If the Hong Kong government abandons all of these ideas and doesn’t listen to the people, no judicial cooperation will be carried out.
Due to the lack of mutual legal assistance mechanism between Taiwan and Hong Kong, Taiwan can’t work with Hong Kong to fight against and crackdown on crimes in the jurisdiction of the other side. Taiwan has made multiple requests for mutual legal assistance investigating and collecting evidence in various criminal cases before, but none has been answered. Although both Taiwan and Hong Kong are very concerned about the Hong Kong women’s murder case and eagerly awaiting the murderer will be punished according to law, Taiwan’s mutual legal assistance requests still never got a response.
As the competent authority for mutual legal assistance in criminal matters in Taiwan, the Ministry has always conducted mutual legal assistance actively with various countries and jurisdictions around the world under the principles of equality, dignity, reciprocity, and the protection of human rights to realize judicial justice. Without the foundation of the previous directions, it isn't easy to establish a long-term judicial cooperation mechanism.
The Ministry appeals that the Hong Kong government not only needs to deal with the transfer of fugitive offenders but also pays attention to sign mutual legal assistance agreement with Taiwan so that a joint anti-crime mechanism can be established between Taiwan and Hong Kong to prevent these two places becoming a haven for criminals who commit a crime in other jurisdiction.