Taiwan issues arrest warrant for HK youth suspected of murder

December 04, 2018 13:02
Chan Tong-kai (R) seen in a photo with Poon Hiu-wing before the latter’s death. Taiwan authorities are urging Hong Kong to extradite Chan so that he can stand trial for the suspected murder of his girlfriend in Taipei earlier this year. Photo: Internet

Taiwan authorities have issued a warrant of arrest for a Hong Kong man who has been suspected of murdering his girlfriend during a trip to the island in February this year.

Issuing the warrant, the Shilin District Prosecutors Office asked Taiwan's Ministry of Justice to seek assistance, via the island's Mainland Affairs Council, from the Hong Kong government to help bring the accused back to Taiwan to stand trial in a local court, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The case pertains to Chan Tong-kai, 19, who is alleged to have murdered his girlfriend and dumped her body before fleeing to Hong Kong.

Chan, an associate degree student from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and his girlfriend Poon Hiu-wing, 20, a student at the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education, went to Taiwan on Feb. 7 for a 10-day trip.

As Chan returned to Hong Kong alone on Feb. 17 without Poon and there was no word from the girl, her father asked Taiwan police for help in March.

Several days later, on March 13, Poon’s body, badly decomposed, was discovered in bushes near Taipei Metro's Zhuwei station, on the outskirts of the city.

Chan was arrested by Hong Kong police on March 14 for two counts of theft and one count of handling stolen goods after he confessed using Poon’s ATM card to withdraw NT$20,000 (US$683) in Taiwan on Feb. 17 and HK$8,500 (US$1,084) in Hong Kong on Feb. 20.

During interrogation by police, he allegedly admitted strangling his girlfriend and stuffing her body in a suitcase and dumping it. 

But Chan’s charges were amended by prosecutors in Hong Kong in August. He then faced several money laundering charges, and three alternative charges of theft.

Taiwan authorities had asked Hong Kong to extradite Chan, but that has not happened so far, as there is no formal extradition agreement between Taiwan and Hong Kong.

According to the Taiwan Prosecutors Office, it asked for mutual legal assistance three times in the past six months from the Hong Kong government with respect to the case but received no response at all.

Calling on the Hong Kong government to answer its request for extradition as the matter pertains to a serious crime, the Taiwan agency pointed out that it is also the wish of the victim’s father that justice must be done.

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