Fugitive bill reading requested

May 20, 2019

The Government has written to the Legislative Council's House Committee asking for a second reading of the fugitive bill to be resumed on June 12.


Secretary for Security John Lee made the announcement today, saying the move is being taken as the bills committee that is meant to scrutinise the Fugitive Offenders & Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 is no longer functioning.


Mr Lee noted the bills committee has failed to agree on resolving the situation, while its chairman still has not been elected since the Government tabled the bill five weeks ago.


Writing to the House Committee chairwoman to seek a resumption of the debate on the amendment bill is the only way out of the current deadlock in LegCo, he said, adding that there is a time constraint for the bill.


Under LegCo’s Rules of Procedure, a debate may be resumed upon written notice delivered by the public officer in charge of the relevant bill to the office of the Clerk, after consultation with the House Committee chair.


The security chief also said the Government will try its best to explain the law changes to Taiwan where a Hong Kong man is accused of murdering his girlfriend last year.


“We will be making every possible effort to let Taiwan understand that we have to create the law so that we can offer the assistance which they have asked for at a very early stage. We will do it with respect.


“We will only look at the case details and talk about the legal matters as well as the subsequent arrangements to hand over the person to Taiwan so that he will face the justice he should face.”


Mr Lee acknowledged the differences of opinion on the amendment bill, with some supporting and some opposing it.


“It is every person’s right to express their view and the Central Government of course has supported the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to go ahead with matters that are in accordance with the laws of Hong Kong.”


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