Hong Kong protests: murder suspect who sparked anti-extradition bill protests to be released from prison

South China Morning Post

Chan Tong-kai is currently serving time for money laundering charges and is wanted for in Taiwan for the death of his pregnant girlfriend

South China Morning Post |

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Chan Tong-kai is taken to jail after being found guilty of money laundering.

The Hongkonger who inspired the introduction of the now-abandoned extradition bill, suspected of murdering his pregnant girlfriend in Taiwan, is expected to be released from prison on October 23.

Chan Tong-kai cannot be transferred to the self-ruled island because the two places lack an extradition agreement.

The murder behind the extradition bill

Presently in jail in Hong Kong after being found guilty of money-laundering, Chan is expected to be released from the Pik Uk Correctional Institution next month, a source said.

Lawmaker Ann Chiang Lai-wan, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, visited Chan in July and tried to persuade him to surrender to Taiwan authorities.

Chiang told the SCMP she has had no contact with Chan since the visit.

The extradition bill introduced by Chief Executive Carrie Lam to send Chan Tong-kai back to Taiwan sparked the current anti-government protests.
Photo: SCMP / K.Y. Cheung

“I said I would like to visit him again after the meeting last time. But we ended up having no further contact,” she said. “But I know a priest has been working [on the case].”

She refused to say whether Chan rejected her visits and how she viewed the chances of Chan turning himself over to the Taiwan authorities after being released.
Executive councillor Ronny Tong Ka-wah, also a Senior Counsel, said there were no further ways to pursue the case.
“As a permanent resident, Chan enjoys freedom in leaving and entering Hong Kong according to the Basic Law. There is no way to limit his freedom after he is released,” Tong said. “It is unacceptable for me, but society has reached the point of no return.”
Meanwhile, opposition lawmakers have unsuccessfully tried to draft their own bills to resolve the matter.
Andrew Wan Siu-kin, of the Democracy Party, drafted an amendment to the Criminal Jurisdiction Bill which involved giving local courts extraterritorial powers over crimes such as murder and genocide.
After the Department of Justice approved the bill as conforming to the legal requirements, Wan wrote to the president of the Legislative Council, Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, hoping Legco could expedite the process by directly sending the amendment to the full council meeting for discussion.
However, Leung replied in August and said he needed to follow standard procedure, and would rule if Wan’s bill conformed to the rule book after a panel discussion.
“It shows the pro-establishment camp and the government are so hypocritical. The timing for sure will lapse if we have to start from a panel,” Wan said. “They smothered the last chance to serve justice with procedures.”