Hong Kong murder suspect plans to turn himself in to Taiwan

HONG KONG – A Hong Kong murder suspect, whose case led the government to attempt to pass an extradition bill last year that sparked massive protests, is expected to return to Taiwan this month to answer the charges of killing his girlfriend.

Chan Tong-kai, who is accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend Poon Hiu-wing in Taiwan in February 2018 before fleeing back to Hong Kong, said Friday that his lawyer was arranging for his return to the self-ruled island.

In a voice recording released to media, Chan apologized to the Poon’s parents.

“My determination to go back to Taiwan and hand myself in has never changed, please do not worry,” Chan said in the recording.

When Chan returned to Hong Kong in 2018, he was charged with money laundering for taking Poon’s money and valuables, and served a prison sentence before being released in October last year.

However, he could not be sent to Taiwan because Hong Kong, the semi-autonomous Chinese city, has no extradition agreement with the island.

Prior to his release, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam used Chan’s case as justification for an extradition bill that would allow Hong Kong to extradite suspects to other countries and territories.

However, many Hong Kong residents opposed the move because it would also have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China to stand trial. The proposed bill sparked months of anti-government protests that occasionally erupted into violent clashes with police. The extradition bill was later withdrawn.

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