Representative to the UK Shen Lyu-shun (沈呂巡) yesterday hailed as significant the acceptance by a UK court of a Taiwanese civil case demanding compensation from British fugitive Zain Dean over a fatal hit-and-run incident.
Shen said the UK High Court of Justice has accepted the case brought by the Taipei Representative Office in the UK to request that Dean compensate the family of the newspaper deliveryman who died in the car crash to the amount of NT$7.55 million (US$246,000), the Central News Agency in London reported.
The request for compensation was based on the verdict reached by the Taipei District Court in January last year. The verdict is final because Dean did not file an appeal against the ruling.
If the UK High Court of Justice rules in favor of the plaintiff on behalf of Huang Kuo-an (黃國安), father of the deceased 32-year-old Huang Chun-te (黃俊德), Dean would be required to pay the Huang family NT$9 million, inclusive of interest, Shen said.
A ruling favorable to Taiwan’s request would assert that the entire sum of compensation is entitled to priority treatment, Shen said.
He said that the UK is a party to the Lugano Convention — which applies to the jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgements in civil and commercial matters — meaning that any income Dean earns not only in the UK, but also in other EU member states — including Iceland, Switzerland and Norway — would be subject to the claim before he completes the payout.
Shen said the idea to ask the UK court to recognize the civil verdict came after the representative office found that the UK had asked Taiwan for recognition of a UK ruling in a British civil suit and had promised to consider a similar request from Taiwan in return.
Dean fled back to the UK in August 2012 using a friend’s passport and impersonated the friend shortly before he was due to begin to serve a four-year prison sentence.
He was arrested in Edinburgh on Oct. 17 last year, a day after Taiwan and the UK signed a memorandum of understanding regarding his extradition.
In the more than four months since the arrest, Dean’s requests for release on bail have failed six times.
The court in Edinburgh has held hearings to rule on Taiwan’s request to extradite him to Taiwan to serve the sentence.
The next hearing is scheduled for Wednesday through Friday.