A Hong Kong man wanted in Taiwan for allegedly strangling his pregnant girlfriend in a case used by the territory to justify controversial changes to its extradition laws was jailed yesterday, but not for murder.
Chan Tong-kai (陳同佳), 20, confessed to Hong Kong police that he killed Poon Hiu-wing (潘曉穎) and dumped her body on the outskirts of Taipei last year.
Poon, who was 20 and was five months pregnant, was allegedly strangled during a Valentine’s holiday to Taiwan by Chan, who fled back to Hong Kong, which has no extradition agreement with Taiwan.
The killing sparked sympathy for Poon’s family and was used by the Hong Kong Government to advocate changing the territory’s laws to allow extraditions on a case-by-case basis to Taiwan, Macau and China.
However, the decision to include China in those proposals sparked huge protests and a major backlash within the territory’s business and legal communities, who fear that it will hammer Hong Kong’s international appeal and tangle people up in China’s opaque courts.
With Hong Kong prosecutors unable to charge Chan for murder, he was instead charged with money laundering related to his possession of Poon’s smartphone, camera and money he withdrew from her account.
A judge sentenced him to 29 months in jail.
Judge Anthea Pang (彭寶琴) said “great frustration and a serious sense of unfairness” should not overshadow the fact that the case was a money laundering prosecution, not a murder trial.
Sentencing someone for a crime they are not convicted of would mean “short circuiting” the justice system, she said.
Having been in custody since March last year, Chan has already served 13 months.
The length of the sentence means Chan would likely not be freed until after the extradition law change — now winding its way through the Hong Kong Legislative Council — comes into effect.
The government has pointed to the murder as a reason for why the law must be swiftly changed.
However, opponents fear that the territory’s pro-Beijing establishment is using the killing to push through the deeply unpopular extradition move.
They said that Hong Kong should cooperate with Taiwan directly or consider trying homicide cases involving Hong Kong permanent residents at home.
OFFLINE: People who do not wish to register can get the money from select ATMs using their bank card, ID number and National Health Insurance card number Online registration for NT$6,000 (US$196.32) cash payments drawn from last year’s tax surplus is to open today for eligible people whose national ID or permanent residency number ends in either a zero or a one, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday. Officials from the ministry revealed which days Taiwanese and eligible foreigners would be able to register for the cash payments at a joint news conference with the Ministry of Digital Affairs. Online registration is to open tomorrow for those whose number ends in a two or three; on Friday for those that end in a four or five: on Saturday
Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) officials are investigating why a Starlux Airlines flight to Penang, Malaysia, returned to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport nearly two hours after takeoff yesterday morning. The airline said in a statement that Flight JX721 to Penang took off from Taoyuan airport at 9:20am. “After the dashboard showed a signal of an abnormality in the hydraulic system, the captain followed standard operating procedures and returned the flight to Taoyuan airport for safety precautions,” the airline said, adding that the flight landed safely at the airport at 11:04am. The airline arranged for the passengers to have lunch after the flight landed and
TECH PROGRAM: A US official said that an important part of the delegation’s trip would be to meet with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co executives The US is to send officials in charge of chip development to Taiwan, Japan and South Korea to promote cooperation in the global semiconductor supply chain, the US Department of Commerce said on Tuesday. Chips Program Office Director Michael Schmidt announced the visit, which marks the first time officials from the office are to visit the three nations since it was set up in September last year. “As semiconductors and technologies continue to evolve, the United States will keep working with allies and partners to develop coordinated strategies to ensure that malign actors cannot use the latest technologies to undermine our collective
WORKING UP AN APPETITE: Sales at the Rueifong Night Market surged 20 to 30 percent, while seats at Liouhe Night Market were packed until 1am, market officials said South Korean pop band Blackpink’s concerts over the weekend in Kaohsiung helped draw large crowds to local night markets, the Kaohsiung City Government said yesterday. The two concerts on Saturday and Sunday at Kaohsiung National Stadium drew more than 90,000 people. The city government offered NT$50 vouchers to spend locally to concertgoers who showed their ticket stubs. Liouhe Night Market (六合夜市) management committee head Chuang Chi-chang (莊其章) said that crowds over the weekend surged at about 10pm and the market remained packed until 1:30am. “Almost all the seats were filled,” Chuang said. Night market stall owners had stocked up in expectation of an increased number