'Extradition plan making business sector jittery' - RTHK
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'Extradition plan making business sector jittery'

2019-03-07 HKT 12:50
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  • Lawmaker Felix Chung says as commercial laws in other jurisdictions are vastly different, it puts businessmen at risk. File photo: RTHK
    Lawmaker Felix Chung says as commercial laws in other jurisdictions are vastly different, it puts businessmen at risk. File photo: RTHK
Liberal Party leader Felix Chung has called on the Carrie Lam administration to exclude economic crimes from its controversial plan to amend the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, saying the proposed move is making the business community here "very uncomfortable".

The government's plan will allow Hong Kong to hand over suspects wanted in any jurisdiction, including the mainland.

Chung said the local business sector is very concerned about the administration's proposal as it also includes people wanted for economic crimes.

He said commercial laws in other jurisdictions are vastly different, and business people could easily breach the laws in those areas without even realising it.

The lawmaker said it is easy to understand if the extradition is regarding serious crimes such as murder.

"The whole bill is going to cover 46 different areas, which include the commercial side, which can cover a very wide range of what they call crimes. So the business sector [has] very uncomfortable feelings," the lawmaker said.

Chung's comments came after the American Chamber of Commerce made a submission to the Security Bureau, expressing "serious reservation" about the proposal because it "substantially expands the possibly of arrest and rendition" to the mainland, which it says has a flawed criminal process.

In its submission to Security Secretary John Lee and made public by lawmaker Claudia Mo, the chamber had raised concern that the changes proposed also put business executives residing in or passing through the SAR under risk of arrest and rendition to the mainland.

Such a situation would make companies rethink plans to retain or select Hong Kong as a base, it warned.

The Amcham submission also said that the "mainland legal system is often abused to criminalise often what are essentially commercial disputes between foreign and local business interests".