Hong Kong mother whose daughter was killed in Taiwan in 2018 slammed Chinese city officials for letting man who confessed to the crime walk free
HONG KONG – The Hong Kong mother whose daughter was killed in Taiwan in 2018 blasted Chinese city officials on Wednesday for letting the man who confessed to the crime walk free, while Hong Kong blamed Taiwan self-managed for “political manipulation” in the case.
Chan Tong-kai was suspected of killing Poon Hiu-wing – his girlfriend at the time – while on vacation in Taiwan before returning to Hong Kong.
As Hong Kong does not have an extradition agreement with Taiwan, Chan could not be sent to trial and was prosecuted and sentenced for money laundering offenses, serving a 29-month prison term in Hong Kong. He confessed to killing Poon and expressing remorse, and said he was ready to face justice in Taiwan.
But the case was not successful due to the lack of cooperation between Hong Kong, the semi-autonomous Chinese city, and Taiwan. China claims Taiwan as part of its territory.
Taiwan has yet to issue Chan with a visa to enter the Autonomous Island, according to Peter Koon, a priest who assisted Chan.
Taiwan insisted on meeting with Hong Kong authorities to exchange evidence and settle travel arrangements for Chan, but Hong Kong rejected such a proposal citing the lack of a mutual legal assistance mechanism.
Hong Kong Security Secretary Chris Tang said Wednesday he was “sympathetic” to Poon’s mother and was aware of Chan’s intention to travel to Taiwan to surrender.
“The point is, Taiwan is unwilling to allow him to go to Taiwan for political reasons,” he said. “The murder took place in Taiwan. All the evidence was found in Taiwan. Only Taiwan can let him go to Taiwan and settle the whole thing.
Tang criticized Taiwan for “manipulating politics”.
“Taiwan is part of China. No matter how much Taiwan would like to manipulate politics, they can never change the fact that Taiwan is part of China, ”he said. “I hope Taiwan will end political manipulation, shed light on justice and allow Chan Tong-kai to travel to Taiwan.
Poon’s mother lamented the political clash between Hong Kong and Taiwan over the affair.
“It’s very unfortunate. I am just a mother. I am not a political person. I don’t understand why my daughter’s case is involved in politics, ”she said.
The case led Hong Kong authorities to propose an extradition bill in 2019, which would allow Hong Kong to extradite suspects to places with which it has no extradition agreements, notably Taiwan and mainland China.
But the proposal sparked mass protests and political strife in 2019, as locals feared the bill would allow suspects to stand trial in China’s opaque legal system. The extradition bill was eventually withdrawn, and the ruling Communist Party in China quelled protests and silenced opposition in Hong Kong.
Chan was released in October 2019 after his sentence was reduced for good behavior, and spent nearly two years living in a police “safe house”, where he was offered protection. He has since left the Safe Home and lives in a remote area, according to the local South China Morning Post newspaper.
“My daughter … she will never be able to know if justice is served for her killer,” said Ms Poon, the mother of the victim who is only known by her last name.
“This can never be resolved and lasts forever, and it’s really hard for us. We raised our daughter for 20 years, but this government does nothing and does not care about us, ”she said.