Govt bypasses Legco panel on extradition bill - RTHK
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Govt bypasses Legco panel on extradition bill

2019-05-20 HKT 15:14
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  • Govt bypasses Legco panel on extradition bill
Wendy Wong reports
Security Secretary John Lee announced on Monday that the government will table its highly controversial extradition law bill to the full Legislative Council next month, effectively killing off a bills committee set up by lawmakers to scrutinise the legal amendments.

The bills committee has been paralysed by fighting between the pro-establishment and pro-democracy camps, with bizarre and even violent scenes in Legco as both sides tried to hold their own meetings on the legislation.

Lee said the government has written to the chairwoman of Legco's House Committee asking for the bill to have its second reading at the full council on June 12.

He said the move is being taken after careful consideration and it is the only way out of the current Legco deadlock because the bills committee is not functioning.

He said the government has been forced to go for an option that it really didn't want to take.

"The bills committee has lost its ability to scrutinise the bill and I cannot see any other way out of the current predicament. There is a time constraint for the bill and the government had no other option but to make this difficult decision after careful deliberation," Lee said.

The security minister also told reporters that the SAR government would make Taiwan understand the purpose of the new legislation so the island will accept the law changes in order to seek the return of a Hong Kong man accused of killing his girlfriend in Taipei last year.

The Taiwan authorities have said that they will not seek an extradition under the proposed amendments to Hong Kong's Fugitive Offenders Ordinance because the changes will put the safety of Taiwanese people at risk.

Opponents have warned that the plan to allow one-off extradition deals with any jurisdiction in the world will see Beijing critics in Hong Kong handed over to mainland authorities on made-up charges.