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September 21, 2017

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Taiwan ups efforts to get UK fugitive

TAIPEI--The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday that it has notified all of its representative offices around the world to work with foreign governments in an effort to track down a British fugitive who fled Taiwan last August.

In a further effort to have UK national Zain Dean returned to Taiwan to serve a four-year prison term, the ministry has asked Taiwan's representative offices to stay in contact with foreign governments, ministry spokesman Steve Hsia said at news briefing.

Taiwan hopes to work with the government of any country in which Dean is found to get him sent back to Taiwan, he said in response to questions on the case.

Hsia said Taiwan's representative office in the UK has also been working closely with related British government agencies in an attempt to have Dean returned to Taiwan.

Taiwan's UK representative office said two days earlier that it had rejected conditions set forth by Dean for him to return to Taiwan to be retried for his conviction in a fatal hit-and-run case.

Shen Lyu-shun, Taiwan's representative to the UK, said the office received an email from Dean in which he said he would only be willing to return to Taiwan on four conditions.

The conditions — a retrial, having previously unreleased video evidence presented in court, having human rights observers present at the new trial and for him to be free of discrimination based on his skin color — he is of South Asian ethnicity — were flatly rejected by the office, Shen said.

Dean claimed during his trial that he was being oppressed because of his identity as a foreigner in Taiwan.

Dean, who served as CEO of UK-based NCL Media's Taiwan chapter, was convicted in July last year of the hit-and-run death of a newspaper delivery man in downtown Taipei in March 2010 while driving under the influence of alcohol.

Dean was supposed to begin serving his sentence last September, but fled the country using the passport of a British friend Aug. 14 of that year.

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