Law change plugs loophole

April 3, 2019

The Government proposed amendments to extradition laws because there is a loophole in the existing legal framework that needs to be plugged, Chief Executive Carrie Lam says.


The Fugitive Offenders & Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 was tabled at the Legislative Council for its first and second reading today.


During her Question Time at LegCo ahead of the bill’s tabling, Mrs Lam noted the proposed law revision aims to provide a legal basis for Hong Kong to deal with a Taiwan homicide case involving a Hong Kong suspect who returned to the city.


The Chief Executive told legislators that in the absence of an arrangement with Taiwan, the Government was unable to do anything despite the former’s request to surrender the fugitive.


Mrs Lam said no matter what the considerations were when the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance was enacted in April 1997, there is a legal loophole in today’s circumstances, and what she meant by a loophole was a gap in the law that a criminal suspect may utilise to evade being surrendered. 


Through the legislative amendments, the Government wishes to plug the loophole to fill that gap, to prevent Hong Kong from becoming a haven for fugitive offenders, she added.

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