For the second time in two weeks, a Spanish court yesterday granted China’s request to extradite 93 Chinese and Taiwanese fraud suspects to China based on Beijing’s so-called “one China” principle, again raising the ire of Taiwanese officials.
The government expressed its regret and discontent over the Spanish National Court’s decision to send the suspects to China, only days after making a similar decision on Dec. 15 to deport 121 fraud suspects — including some Taiwanese — to Beijing, the Mainland Affairs Council said in a news release yesterday.
A total of 269 suspects were reportedly arrested in connection with the case in December last year.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is still trying to determine how many of the 214 suspects pending deportation are Taiwanese, the ministry said.
The deportation orders were made in accordance with an extradition treaty signed between Beijing and Madrid in 2005 and ratified in 2006.
The council yesterday again urged China to honor 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), which was signed in 2009 to promote bilateral cooperation with Taiwan.
“Only cooperation truly assists our fight against telecom fraud crimes and our efforts to punish transgressors and safeguard the rights of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait,” the council said.
The agreement was shelved even before President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in May 20 last year.
Since April last year, a total of 288 Taiwanese have been deported to China from various nations — including Kenya, Malaysia, Cambodia, Armenia, Vietnam and Indonesia — for alleged telecom fraud targeting people in China, council data showed.
On Thursday, 44 Taiwanese fraud suspects deported from Kenya were given prison terms by a Chinese court, with two receiving the heaviest sentence of 15 years.
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