Germany inks prisoner-transfer pact

Staff writer with CNA

Thu, Nov 07, 2013 - Page 3

Taiwan and Germany yesterday finalized an agreement to allow the transfer of nationals serving prison terms between the two countries, the first time the government has signed such an agreement with a non-diplomatic ally.

The agreement was signed by Representative to Germany Chen Hwa-yue (陳華玉) on Oct. 23 in Berlin. Deutsches Institut Taipei Director Michael Zickerick signed it in Taipei early yesterday.

The pact will take effect 30 days after confirmation letters are received, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

“These agreements, as we see it, are yet another significant milestone in our excellent and well-established cooperation,” Zickerick said at the signing ceremony.

German nationals serving time in Taiwan will be able to apply to have their cases handed over to a German court to decide if they can return to home to serve out their sentences, and vice versa.

There are seven Germans now in prison in Taiwan and 12 Taiwanese in German jails, Ministry of Justice officials said.

The basis for the agreement was the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Act (跨國移交受刑人法), which took effect on July 23. The act governs the transfer of sentenced persons on humanitarian grounds and as a means to strengthen correctional efforts and international cooperation.

There are 576 foreign nationals in prisons in Taiwan, including 97 from China, Hong Kong and Macau, official statistics show.