CROSS-BORDER CO-OPERATION

Suspect in 2009 acid attack on prosecutor in Hong Kong custody after seven years on the run

Hongkonger is second in six days sought by local police and handed over by mainland authorities after arrest over the border

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 February, 2017, 3:39pm
UPDATED : Monday, 06 February, 2017, 10:04pm

A suspected triad member wanted in connection with a 2009 acid attack on a Hong Kong prosecutor was handed over to Hong Kong police by their mainland counterparts on Monday.

The 41-year-old Hongkonger surnamed Chim, who spent about seven years on the run, was escorted from a detention centre in Shenzhen before being handed over to officers from the liaison bureau and the organised crime and triad bureau at the Huanggang-Lok Ma Chau border crossing at about 3pm Monday.

His return marked the second time in six days that a suspect wanted by Hong Kong police was sent back to the city after being arrested on the mainland.

Last Wednesday, another Hong Kong resident, 29, accused of murdering Dragonair flight attendant Arbe Chan Man-yin in 2013, was sent back to the city.

Suspected Hong Kong triad leader arrested for 2009 acid attack on lawyer

Between 2013 and last year, four suspects wanted by police were sent back to the city after being nabbed on the mainland.

Police placed Chim on its wanted list after the acid attack and asked mainland authorities to help track him down. He was nabbed last November in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

The force said nine men were prosecuted and convicted by the High Court over the October 27, 2009 attack on barrister Neil Mitchell. They received jail sentences of nine to 15 years.

Speaking at the surrender ceremony in Shenzhen on Monday, acting chief superintendent Man Tat-shing of the organised crime and triad bureau said Hong Kong police were grateful for the mainland authorities’ help which led to the arrest of the suspect who had fled to the mainland and been at large for over seven years.

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Man said the arrest had “strengthened the determination of the police in Hong Kong and on the mainland to fight crime”.

On Monday, the suspect was being held for questioning. He has not been charged.

Mitchell, then 52, was the prosecutor in a money laundering and fraud case against solicitor Kevin Kong Hon-yui, who was jailed for six years in December 2009, when the attack took place.

The barrister was on a lunch break outside the District Court in Wan Chai when a brownish-black liquid – later confirmed to be diluted sulphuric acid – was thrown in his face, with more splashed on his shirt as he tried to wipe it off.

A paper cup, believed to have contained the fluid, was later found in a rubbish bin nearby.

Mitchell has since recovered from the injuries to his left cornea, ear and cheek. He was under police protection during his three days in hospital.