Sat, Jan 08, 2011 - Page 3 News List

US-Taiwan draft treaty proposed

JUSTIFIED:In October, the AIT director said one issue that still had to be resolved was whether to permit the extradition of Taiwanese who hold US citizenship

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter, with CNA

The US has put forth a draft extradition treaty with Taiwan, Taiwan’s Deputy Representative to the US Leo Lee (李澄然) said in Washington on Thursday.

The two sides are currently negotiating details to resolve differences, Lee said, adding that the agreement will need to be endorsed by both countries’ legislatures after it is signed.

In Taipei, Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials remained tight-lipped on the treaty when asked to comment.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) said Taiwan and the US are seeking to enhance judicial cooperation on the basis of the Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (台美刑事司法互助協定), which was signed in 2002, by signing an extradition treaty.

However, Yang added he was not aware of the draft extradition treaty presented by the US.

Also saying he had no comment, director-general of the ministry’s Department of North American Affairs Bruce Linghu (令狐榮達) said the time was not ripe for the ministry to reveal any negotiation details.

“There is still much to study as the US is a common law country, while Taiwan’s legal system is a civil law system. In addition to the differences in the legal systems adopted, both sides have different concerns on the extradition treaty,” Linghu said.

According to Deputy Minister of Justice Chen Shou-huang (陳守煌), Taiwan began to talk with the US about signing such a treaty in 2008, but the ministry had no understanding of the content of the draft put forward by the US.

In October, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director William Stanton was quoted as saying in an interview with the Chinese--language United Daily News that one complicated issue involved in the matter was whether Taiwanese holding US citizenship could be extradited under the treaty.

AIT did not comment yesterday, citing the need to clarify information with Washington.

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