HONG KONG - The extradition law amendments proposed by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government are in line with the Basic Law, the central government’s liaison office in the city stressed on Tuesday.
Xi stressed the importance of fairness and justice in law enforcement, urging the police to fulfill their mission to create a safe and stable social environment
The amendments have a sound legal foundation, and are in response to the community’s urgent needs, it said.
The comments came at an internal meeting of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR, studying President Xi Jinping’s recent speech on national public security.
Addressing a national conference last week, Xi stressed the importance of fairness and justice in law enforcement, urging the police to fulfill their mission to create a safe and stable social environment.
The liaison office meeting, chaired by its director Wang Zhi-min, noted that the proposed amendments to the city’s extradition laws comply with the spirit of implementing the Basic Law.
According to Article 95 of the Basic Law, the HKSAR may, through consultations and in accordance with the law, maintain juridical relations with the judicial organs of other parts of the country, and they may render assistance to each other.
The revised laws are also part of major moves by the SAR government to safeguard the rule of law and enhance the city’s global reputation as a leading common law jurisdiction, the meeting stressed.
Moreover, the changes meet society’s urgent needs, and can manifest justice and plug loopholes in the local legal system, it said.
The proposed amendments were triggered by a murder case in Taiwan involving a Hong Kong man, who fled to the SAR after allegedly killing his girl friend. But, the man cannot be surrendered to the Taiwan authorities in the absence of a rendition arrangement.
The revamped bill will allow Hong Kong to extradite suspects on a one-off, case-by-case basis to other jurisdictions with which the SAR has no extradition agreements.
The meeting pointed out that the new laws will bring suspects involved in serious crimes outside Hong Kong to justice in accordance with the law, adding it will prevent the city from turning into a “haven for fugitives”.
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Noting that public security is the cornerstone of Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity, the liaison office said it’s necessary for the SAR to strengthen judicial collaboration and mutual assistance in criminal matters with neighboring regions and countries to prevent and deal with all types of crimes.
The office hoped that all sectors in Hong Kong will reject rumors and scaremongering views created by those with an axe to grind.
Similar comments have come from Zhang Xiaoming, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, who described the proposed amendments as “necessary”, “appropriate” and “in line with the laws”. He made the remarks on Wednesday at a meeting in Beijing with a delegation from a Hong Kong think tank, the Path of Democracy.
Zhang called for rational and professional discussions in dealing with the arguments, and hoped that Hong Kong can safeguard its rule of law and justice.
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