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Proposed rendition law is dangerous: James To

2019-02-12 HKT 19:49
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  • Lawmaker James To says he will oppose planned changes to the law that will make it easier for Hong Kong to extradite fugitives. Photo: RTHK
    Lawmaker James To says he will oppose planned changes to the law that will make it easier for Hong Kong to extradite fugitives. Photo: RTHK
The government's plan to make it easier to hand wanted people over to other jurisdictions – including the mainland – could easily be abused, Democratic Party legislator James To warned on Tuesday.

To, who is the deputy chair of Legco's security panel, said he would oppose the proposed legal changes, which have been set out in a paper to the council by the Security Bureau.

Officials said the amendments would close a loophole that came to light last year when a Hong Kong teenager returned from Taiwan after allegedly killing his pregnant girlfriend during a Valentine's trip to Taipei. He remains in Hong Kong though, because the two places have no extradition agreement.

To said sending the crime suspect over to Taiwan under such a new law would set a dangerous precedent.

He gave the 2015 kidnappings of five Causeway Bay booksellers as an example of how such legislation could be abused, saying had it been in place then, the men could simply have been surrendered to the mainland via the judicial system.

To said he believes the issue needs to be discussed in detail, and society and the legislature should be able to decide whether such fugitive agreements are made with individual jurisdictions.