Premier Simon Chang (張善政) yesterday said that the Executive Yuan called for two principles — procedural and judicial justice — to be upheld in the case of Taiwanese deported from Kenya to China.
“The procedure through which Taiwanese are deported to [China] should comply with the principle of procedural justice. We believe that there has been fault on [China’s] part, as it failed to respect the injunction issued by the Kenyan High Court and forced its way to send [Taiwanese to China] and failed to notify us of the matter in advance, which was against the spirit of the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement (海峽兩岸共同打擊犯罪及司法互助協議,)” Chang said.
“I consider it highly appropriate for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Mainland Affairs Council [MAC] to have lodged a stern protest [to China],” he added.
Regarding potential judicial proceedings, the premier said that Taiwanese who have done “bad things” should be punished accordingly.
“From what we know so far, honestly they would be tried in [China], where the people [affected by the alleged fraud] live, where the [suspects] are charged and where sufficient evidence is to be found,” he said.
However, the judicial assistance agreement would need to be relied on for handling of any court cases, Chang said.
“The Ministry of Justice plans to send prosecutors to China to make sure that the rights of the Taiwanese suspects are sufficiently protected during any judicial proceedings,” Chang said.
“Those who have committed crimes should be tried and punished, but if there are people who are innocent, as some have said that they were simply traveling and staying in a hotel [run by Chinese in Kenya], but were arrested along with others, they should be vindicated,” Chang said.
The judicial assistance agreement allows Taiwanese to serve jail sentences in Taiwan, he added.
“We do not want Taiwanese to serve time in [China],” Chang said.
When pressed on the question of whether the Kenya incident would conclude before May 20, the day of the takeover of the new government, Chang said it would be difficult for the judicial case, considering the proceedings it would have to go through, to come to a conclusion before then.
When asked about the disconnection of the cross-strait hotline, Chang said a call from MAC Minister Andrew Hsia (夏立言) to China’s Taiwan Affairs Office was answered, eventually.
“According to Hsia, the talk lasted for more than 50 minutes and we have expressed our stance,” Chang said.