Killer who sparked Hong Kong protests agrees to surrender to Taiwan

Killer who sparked Hong Kong protests agrees to surrender to Taiwan

Protesters Wan Chai barricade fire
Protesters stand near a fire in the Wan Chai district of Hong Kong, Aug 31, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Lillian Suwanrumpha)

HONG KONG: The man whose actions inadvertently triggered months of violent protests in Hong Kong told chief executive Carrie Lam in a letter on Friday (Oct 18) that he has "decided to surrender himself to Taiwan" after he is discharged from prison.

Chan Tong-kai, 20, is wanted for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend Poon Hiu-wing during a holiday in Taiwan in February last year. On Dec 3, 2018, Taiwan issued an arrest warrant for Chan.

He fled back to Hong Kong, where Taiwanese police have been unable to apprehend him because of the lack of an extradition agreement. The case triggered a proposal by the Hong Kong government to propose an extradition Bill that would have allowed the city to extradite suspects to any territory, including mainland China.

The now-scrapped Bill was met with anger and led to months of violent protests as part of a wider movement calling for more autonomy from Beijing.

Police officers fire tear gas during a protest in Hong Kong
Police officers fire tear gas during a protest in Hong Kong, China August 31, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
A demonstrator sets a barricade on fire during a protest in Hong Kong
A demonstrator sets a barricade on fire during a protest in Hong Kong, China August 31, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

On Friday night, the Hong Kong government said it had received a letter from Chan confirming his intention to surrender to Taiwan upon the end of his prison sentence in Hong Kong.

READ: Murderer who triggered Hong Kong protests will return to Taiwan to face justice: Pastor

Chan is currently in jail after he was convicted of stealing his girlfriend's possessions during a trial in which he did not dispute killing his pregnant girlfriend.

The Hong Kong government said he had "requested" for assistance in "making the relevant arrangements" after the end of his jail term.

"Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau has today received a letter issued by the Hong Kong Police Force, relaying Chan's decision to surrender himself to Taiwan," the Hong Kong government said in a statement.

"The letter also conveyed that the authority of Hong Kong would assist Chan in relevant arrangements, and provide the necessary and legally feasible assistance to Taiwan in this matter."

Riot police walk near a fire set by anti-extradition bill protesters during a protest at Prince Edw
Riot police walk near a fire set by anti-extradition bill protesters during a protest at Prince Edward in Hong Kong, China September 6, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE

Hong Kong's Department of Justice does not have "sufficient evidence" against the 20-year-old on the charge of homicide in Taiwan, the government added.

"The department has thoroughly examined the police's investigation and the evidence collected, and prosecuted Chan for money laundering committed in Hong Kong," the statement read.

He was sentenced to 29 months' imprisonment but is reportedly due for release next week.

"Regarding Chan's alleged offence in Taiwan, the courts of Hong Kong have no jurisdiction over it," the statement added.

"Neither do the local authorities have any ground to extend Chan's detention or pursue the offence that he was alleged to have committed in Taiwan."

READ: Hong Kong protesters vow to hit the streets in major 'illegal' march

Hong Kong protest tear gas
Police fire tear gas to disperse protesters in Tsuen Wan district in Hong Kong on Oct 1, 2019, as the city observes the National Day holiday to mark the 70th anniversary of communist China's founding. (Photo: AFP/Philip FONG)

Hong Kong is bracing itself for a 20th consecutive weekend of protests.

Police on Friday rejected an application for a large rally on Sunday saying they feared hardcore protesters would hijack it and turn violent.

MORE: Our coverage of the Hong Kong protests

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Source: CNA/AFP/nh

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