Extraditions over economic crimes the norm: CE - RTHK
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Extraditions over economic crimes the norm: CE

2019-03-20 HKT 11:44
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  • Extraditions over economic crimes the norm: CE
Chief Executive Carrie Lam refused to be drawn on Wednesday over whether the government will heed calls to exclude economic crimes from new legislation which will allow Hong Kong to surrender suspects to other jurisdictions on a case-by-case basis, noting only that it is normal to allow extraditions for such offences.

The issue was raised by pro-Beijing lawmaker Jeffrey Lam as the CE took part in a question-and-answer session in Legco.

He noted that the Business and Professionals Alliance he belongs to has repeatedly warned the administration that there is considerable opposition to the proposed legal changes among the business sector.

Business leaders have raised fears about executives being handed over to the mainland under the new legislation.

Replying to the legislator, Carrie Lam said Security Secretary John Lee had been speaking to various stakeholders in the past couple of days and she hadn't had much of a chance to talk to him about the matters raised.

"Please give us some time. When the secretary for security has done his rounds, we will be taking a very prudent and cautious approach and will give you a reply," the CE said.

But she also noted that economic crimes are already covered by the city's existing extradition treaties and the list of such offences has not been drawn up solely for the new legislation planned.

Earlier this month, former police chief Andy Tsang – a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference – suggested that the amendments proposed to the Fugitives Offenders Ordinance could be carried out in two phases so that economic crimes are initially excluded until a thorough public discussion has taken place.

On Tuesday, the Chief Executive said any such changes to the proposed legal amendments would be a matter for the security secretary to decide.