Amending fugitive offenders law meant to protect Hong Kong's business environment: HKSAR gov't

Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/5/9 14:19:30

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said on Wednesday that its proposal to amend the fugitive offenders ordinance was meant to protect people and business activities from the threat of crime.

"The proposed legislative amendments are meant to protect the law-abiding general public in the HKSAR. The amendments, if passed, will protect business activities from the threat of crime and be conducive to the business environment in the HKSAR," a spokesman of the HKSAR government said in response to a US report.

The HKSAR government has recently submitted the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 to the Legislative Council (LegCo) for discussion. The bill proposed to enable Hong Kong to conduct case-based cooperation with jurisdictions that have no effective long-term arrangement with Hong Kong on juridical assistance in criminal matters.

It has reiterated that the amendments were aimed at solving two practical problems - to deal with a 2018 murder case that happened in Taiwan involving a Hong Kong suspect who has returned to Hong Kong; and to fill a loophole in the HKSAR's existing legal framework concerning mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.

The spokesman stressed that the targets of case-based surrenders are fugitives who have committed grave criminal offences on the basis of prima facie evidence and are wanted for justice due to the offences committed, and the HKSAR has full discretion as to whether a case-based surrender request should be acceded to.

The HKSAR government attaches utmost importance to the HKSAR's core values of rule of law and judicial independence, and is determined to fully safeguard them and the safety of all members of the public, the spokesman said, adding that the proposed amendments were meant to "enhance the HKSAR's capability in dealing with fugitives of serious criminal offences and making the HKSAR a better partner in the international fight against crime."


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