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September 22, 2017

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Zain Dean appeals ruling on extradition to Taiwan

Zain Dean, a British national who fled Taiwan after being convicted in a fatal hit-and-run case, on Thursday appealed a court ruling in the United Kingdom over his extradition to Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) confirmed yesterday.

In the appeal filed by his lawyer, Dean cited three main reasons to appeal the ruling, according to MOFA.

 He challenged Taiwan's legal status, argued that his trial in Taiwan was unfair and claimed that serving time in a Taiwan prison would put his life in danger, it noted.

 The appeal will be heard in a higher court in Edinburgh, where Dean resided before being detained last fall. No dates have been set for the trial, it added.

 A diplomatic source who prefers to stay anonymous told local media yesterday that the appeal decision is "not a surprise" considering Dean's past record of exhausting all means available to him during his previous legal battle in Taiwan.

 UK prosecutors will now continue legal proceedings in the higher court in Edinburgh on behalf of Taiwan government, the source said.

 Taiwan will maintain close contact with UK prosecutors and provide the latter with all required information to facilitate the ultimate extradition of Dean, the source added.

 Dean, the 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 Scottish police in October 2013 following a request from Taiwanese authorities.

 On June 11, the Edinburgh Sheriff Court ruled that Dean should be extradited to Taiwan to serve his sentence. The Scottish secretary of justice approved the extradition on Aug. 1.

  Under the law, Dean had the right to appeal the extradition ruling within 14 days or be sent back to Taiwan to serve his sentence.

Could Take Another 10 Months

 Commenting on the case, the source yesterday said the three reasons Dean used to make the appeal had already been previously rejected by the Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

 It had previously taken 10 months during the trial in the district court. The source estimated it could take anther 10 months for the trail in the higher in Edinburgh.

 On the other hand, the family of the hit-and-run victim who was killed by Dean four years ago has hired a lawyer in UK to investigate the assets of the UK national who was found guilty in the case.

 The move is to make sure that he will pay NT$9 million (US$300,000) in civil damages to the family of Huang Chun-te (黃俊德), as ordered by a Taiwanese court.

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