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UK to announce decision about Briton's extradition next week

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Authorities in the United Kingdom are next week expected to make public their decision on whether or not the country will extradite a runaway Briton — convicted in Taiwan for a fatal hit-and-run in 2010 — to Taiwan to serve his sentence, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official said yesterday.

"The UK is scheduled to make public its final decision on August 6 or 7," Louis Huang (黃敏境), deputy director-general of MOFA's Department of European Affairs, told local media yesterday when asked to comment on the case.

Zain Dean, former head of a British company's Taiwan office, was sentenced to four years in prison in July 2012 on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, manslaughter and committing a hit-and-run offense.

Using a friend's passport, Dean fled Taiwan the following month and later returned to the UK. He was arrested by police in October 2013 following a request from Taiwanese authorities.

In a historic ruling made this June, a court in Scotland ruled that Dean should be extradited.

According to MOFA, the Edinburgh District Court that made the ruling on June 11 has already forwarded its decision to Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill for further approval.

MacAskill has eight weeks to make a decision. The eight-week deadline is expected to fall on August 6 or 7.

Meanwhile, Perry Shen (申佩璜), head of MOFA's Department of Treaties and Legal Affairs, yesterday said that if MacAskill's decision complies with the ruling, Dean has 14 days to appeal or be extradited.

If the Scottish official rules that the Briton doesn't have to come to Taiwan to serve jail time, the Taiwan government will appeal the case in a higher court, Shen added.

1 Comment
August 1, 2014    adamu_kun@
I really don't think he'll be extradited, that is, if there is a 'yes' vote in the upcoming Scottish referendum.

If the decision to extradite is not upheld and there is a 'yes' vote, there will be no higher court to appeal to (not even the EU, as Scotland will have to reapply to rejoin the EU, something that will likely be vetoed by Spain to try and pour water on Catalan independence hopes). So no extradition.

If the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Justice upholds the ruling, then this guy is likely to appeal just before the 14 day deadline comes up. Then it all has to go through the courts again which will take up more time - even up until the end of the year. The result of that could be an extradition or a non-extradition (with no higher court of appeal for Taiwan).

If it's an extradition, then because of the fact that there are no direct flights between Scotland and Taiwan (or the UK and Taiwan at the moment, even Eva Air stops over in Bangkok) and the fact that it's unlikely there will be such a thing as a Scottish passport immediately after referendum (meaning he will still be a British Citizen), will the British courts uphold a foreign, Scottish ruling and allow him to be extradited through their territory? I think not, given that Whitehall is not supporting much of what an independent Scotland wants. And extradition through the EU (Schengen Area)? Same potential problem, with the Spanish veto of Scottish membership and the fact that the rump part of Britain will still be an EU member.

Taiwan had better hope and pray that the Scottish vote 'no' in the forthcoming referendum if they want this extradition so badly!
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