Sat, Feb 02, 2013 - Page 3 News List

No deal to be cut with Zain Dean: prosecutors

Staff writer, with CNA

Prosecutors yesterday said they would never cut a deal with a British businessman who fled Taiwan after he was convicted in a fatal hit-and-run case.

Prosecutors made the remarks after ETtoday yesterday quoted the businessman, Zain Dean, as saying that he would return to Taiwan under three conditions: an international human rights group should serve as an observer of the trial; a Taiwanese legal human rights group should also be present during the trial; and video evidence of the accident should be presented.

As long as Taiwan’s judiciary approves those conditions, Dean said he would return to Taiwan to face justice, the report said.

Dean was sentenced to four years in prison in July last year on charges of killing a newspaper delivery man in a drunk driving accident in March 2010.

Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office spokesman Huang Mo-hsin (黃謀信) yesterday said that if a defendant feels a ruling was unfair, he or she should act according to the rules by filing an appeal.

The British Trade and Cultural Office in Taipei declined to comment on the matter yesterday.

“We do not comment on individual cases,” the office said.

When Dean did not show up on Sept. 21 last year to begin serving his prison term, prosecutors realized that he had fled the country.

Investigations showed that Dean left Taiwan on Aug. 14 using a friend’s passport. The friend was identified only as David, an English teacher in Taiwan who is also a British citizen. Dean is of Indian descent, while his friend is Caucasian.

Dean’s whereabouts are not known, an immigration officer told the Central News Agency, adding that the National Immigration Agency would do its utmost to redress its negligence.

Dean would be extradited if he is in a country that has an extradition agreement with Taiwan, the official said.

Asked whether Dean was in disguise when he left the country, the officer said it was highly possible, but could not be confirmed because there was no clear frontal image of Dean from cameras at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Thursday expressed anger over the matter, saying it was a clear lapse on the part of immigration officials.

“We’ll work hard to capture the escaped offender,” Ma said.

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