Taiwan again seeks legal assistance from Hong Kong in murder case

2018/05/03 20:55:05 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo of Poon's parents

CNA file photo of Poon's parents

Taipei, May 3 (CNA) Taiwan has once again broached the issue of mutual legal assistance with Hong Kong in order to prosecute a Hong Kong man suspected of killing his girlfriend while on vacation in Taiwan, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) said in a statement Thursday.

Although the first such request received no official reply, the ministry's Department of International and Cross-Strait Legal Affairs revealed that Shilin District Prosecutors Office found new evidence, namely a DNA sample that does not belong to the victim, during a third autopsy, which suggests that Poon Hiu-wing (潘曉穎) could have been pregnant at the time of her death.

While prosecutors office spokesperson Wu Yi-ming (吳怡明) declined to confirm whether she was in fact pregnant, the ministry is asking for Hong Kong's cooperation in obtaining a DNA sample from Poon's boyfriend Chan Tong-kai (陳同佳) to determine if there is a match.

The MOJ has asked the Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan's top agency in charge of China policy, to deliver a second mutual legal assistance proposal so that the two can share evidence and secure justice for the victim.

According to the ministry, Chan, who was Poon's boyfriend and is the prime suspect in her murder, has returned to Hong Kong with which Taiwan does not have an extradition treaty.

The couple came to Taiwan on Feb. 8, but Chan returned to Hong Kong on his own Feb. 17.

Unable to contact his daughter, Poon's father sought the assistance of the Taiwanese authorities and her body was found in a field near the MRT Zhuwei Station on March 13.

The investigation has led Taiwanese police to suspect that Chan strangled his girlfriend during a heated argument and stuffed her body into a suitcase which he used to transport her to the disposal site.

Since the crime was committed in Taiwan, Poon cannot be charged with murder in Hong Kong, though he has been indicted there on charges of handling stolen goods and theft after he was arrested for stealing and using Poon's credit card and disposing of her mobile phone and other objects.

Two Taiwanese judicial officials, who spoke with CNA in March on condition of anonymity, emphasized the importance of working through official channels because if evidence and information is exchanged privately, it could be inadmissible in court.

(By Wang Yang-yu, Hsiao Po-wen and Kuan-lin Liu)

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