Hong Kong’s first refusal of a US extradition bid

Yesterday, a US Department of State Annual report revealed that in October 2017, the leader of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, refused to extradite a detainee to the US. The detainee was placed in custody, in mainland China, and extradition was refused on the basis that Beijing was pursuing the detainee in relation to a separate criminal matter. This is the first time Hong Kong has refused to extradite a detainee to the US since the UK transferred sovereignty of Hong Kong to China in 1997. So far, the details of the Chinese criminal matter and the identity of the detainee remain unknown.

However, the South China Morning Post has uncovered evidence of a broken extradition negotiation in the New York bribery case of Patrick Ho Chi-ping, a former Hong Kong Home Affairs Minister. In that case Iat Hong, a hacker, was arrested in Hong Kong in December 2016. Hong was charged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for hacking into unnamed New York law firms as part of an organised hacking group that made more than 4 million US dollars. The US tried to extradite Hong, but the extradition negotiation broke down in October 2017.

In 1997 Hong Kong and the US created a bilateral agreement which has resulted in Hong Kong being able to extradite detainees to the US, however the US and China do not currently share an extradition treaty. In the case of Patrick Ho Chi-ping, the US prosecutors explained that the agreement between Hong Kong and the US contains an exception that “relates to the defence, foreign affairs, or essential public interest or policy of [China]”.

 

Spanish court approves extradition of 93 to China

Spain’s National Court has ruled in favour of extraditing 93 Chinese citizens to China, all of whom are suspected of involvement in Spanish gangs that defrauded people in China out of millions of pounds through telephone scams. Spain was notified about the scam over a year ago, and since that time cooperated with China to arrest 269 individuals.

Spanish court rules in favour of extradition of 121 Taiwanese people to China

A court in Spain has ruled in favour of China’s request to extradite 121 Taiwanese people, who are suspected of involvement in Spanish gangs that defrauded people in China out of millions of pounds through telephone scams. Spain has an extradition treaty with China.

Sri Lankan parliament approves extradition agreements with 4 new countries

Sri Lanka’s parliament has voted in favour of extradition agreements with China, Russia, Ukraine, and Vietnam. Sri Lanka’s Minister of Justice, Thalatha Atukorala, said during debates that she expected Sri Lanka to work together with the other countries to implement the agreements.

China to seek more assistance from other nations in extraditing its citizens

It is reported that China will call for increased international cooperation to combat terrorism and corruption at Interpol’s general assembly next week. China has long sought more assistance from other nations in extraditing Chinese citizens, including on allegations of terrorism and corruption.  However, it has met with resistance, particularly from Western nations, in light of fears that the citizens won’t receive a fair trial or will be mistreated on their return. China’s Vice Minister of Public Security, Meng Hongwei, currently serves as the president of Interpol.