Taiwan’s representative office in the UK on Tuesday said that it had rejected the conditions set by a British fugitive for him to return to Taiwan after he absconded after being convicted in a fatal hit-and-run case.
Representative to the UK Shen Lyu-shun (沈呂巡) said the office a few days earlier received an e-mail from the fugitive convict, Zain Dean, in which Dean said he would only be willing to return to Taiwan on four conditions.
The conditions — a retrial, having video evidence presented in court, having human rights observers present at a new trial and for him to be free of discrimination based on his skin color (he is of South Asian ethnicity) — were flatly rejected by the office, Shen said.
Dean claimed during his trial that he was being discriminated against because he was a foreigner in Taiwan.
Shen said that as a convicted fugitive, Dean has no right to negotiate with the government and that if he has any question about the court ruling, he can file an extraordinary appeal or petition for a retrial in accordance with Taiwan’s laws. Both of these actions would require Dean to return to Taiwan.
Dean, who served as chief executive of UK-based NCL Media’s Taiwan branch, was convicted in July last year of the hit-and-run death of a newspaper delivery man in downtown Taipei in March 2010 while under the influence of alcohol.
Dean was supposed to begin serving his sentence in September last year, but fled the country using the passport of a British friend on Aug. 14 last year.
Shen said government agencies and the representative office have been working hard to persuade Dean to return to Taiwan to face justice, which could include the possibility of civil compensation. They have also worked on persuading the British government to extradite Dean — Taiwan and the UK have no extradition agreement — or using the pressure of public opinion to get him to return to Taiwan.
The representative office said Taiwan and the UK have previously mutually recognized the rulings in five civil suits and it expressed the hope that the British judiciary will handle Dean’s case like the previous ones.
In addition, the representative office found that Dean’s company in Taiwan has outstanding taxes.
Letters sent to the company’s registered address in Edinburgh regarding the outstanding tax were returned to Taiwan’s representative office in Edinburgh, marked “undeliverable.”