Number of fugitives in HK is a mystery: John Lee - RTHK
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Number of fugitives in HK is a mystery: John Lee

2019-03-13 HKT 17:56
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  • Number of fugitives in HK is a mystery: John Lee
The Secretary for Security, John Lee, said on Wednesday that the government has no idea how many people wanted for serious crimes on the mainland are in hiding in Hong Kong and he can't confirm a former senior mainland official's claim that there are more than 300 of them.

Lee said since there are no extradition agreements between the two sides, the mainland has not sent any requests for the surrender of suspects. Since there are no requests, there are no figures, he said.

He made the remarks after a former deputy public security minister, Chen Zhimin, said in Beijing that the mainland authorities “have the name of every single" serious crime suspect believed to have fled to Hong Kong.

The SAR government has proposed changing legislation to allow it to adopt a case-by-case approach in negotiating rendition deals with jurisdictions that it doesn’t already have an extradition treaty with.

Lee said the suggestion was made after a Hong Kong teenager alleged to have killed his girlfriend in Taiwan returned to the SAR, and authorities could not send him back to face trial.

The secretary, who was visiting the central and western district council office, rejected calls for the government to negotiate a specific deal with Taiwan first, before applying the proposed changes to other jurisdictions. Members of Demosisto protested at the venue over the changes government is proposing.

Lee said the government has to deal with the loophole this case has exposed, so that if “a murder, arson, rape or robbery case happens in another jurisdiction”, Hong Kong will be able to handle this as well.

Meanwhile, he said the government has received 4,500 submissions from the public in a brief consultation exercise on the proposed legal changes. He said 3,000 of them supported the move and about 1,400 opposed it.

As for the business sector’s suggestion that white-collar crimes be excluded from the proposal, Lee said the government has yet to make a decision on this.