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Prosecutors refuse to 'bargain' with UK fugitive

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwanese prosecutors rejected on Friday the three conditions laid down by a British businessman to return to Taiwan and deal with judicial proceedings related to his conviction in a fatal hit-and-run case.

"We are responsible for carrying out the sentence handed down by the court against the defendant. We don't bargain with fugitives," said Huang Mo-hsin, a spokesman for the Taipei District Prosecutors Office.

"Anyone who doesn't agree with the sentence of a court should appeal for a remedy via the legal process rather than flee."

Huang was referring to the case of British businessman Zain Taj Dean, who was sentenced to four years in a final judgment after being convicted in July 2012 on charges of hitting and killing a newspaper delivery man while driving under the influence of alcohol in March 2010.

Dean issued a statement Friday through one of his Taiwanese friends insisting that he was not given a fair trial in Taiwan but offering to return to the country if three conditions were met.

He asked that an international human rights group should serve as an observer at the trial; a legal human rights group from Taiwan should also be present during the trial; and video evidence of the accident should be presented because it will exonerate him, ETtoday reported.

Though Dean's four-year sentence for causing another person's death while driving under the influence cannot be appealed, a case against him for fleeing the scene of the accident is still being prosecuted.

After Dean was convicted, he was barred from leaving the country by the court, but the British national left Taiwan using the passport of a British friend on Aug. 14, 2012, before prosecutors could order him to serve his jail term.

Meanwhile, Huang Kuo-an, the father of the newspaper deliver man who died after being hit by Dean's car, dismissed Dean's contention that the trial was unfair as nonsense.

"The judges have given him ample opportunity to defend himself during the trial," Huang said.

A worker with the Shilin chapter of the Association for Victims Supports said Friday he was going to visit Huang the next day.

The association has regularly looked after Huang since the accident, and the worker said that Huang was very angry after learning that Dean had fled Taiwan days before prosecutors could order him to serve his four-year sentence.

The association has offered Huang a consolation payment of NT$18,000 every three months since his son's death because he and his bedridden wife relied on the income of their son to eke out a meager living, the worker said.

As long as Taiwan's jurisdiction approves those three conditions, Dean said in the reported statement, he will return to Taiwan to face justice, according to the report.

Dean was sentenced to four years in prison in July 2012 on charges of killing a newspaper delivery man in a drunk driving accident in March 2010.

February 2, 2013    thm1229@
Dean, if you are reading this article then good. You should be aware that you are a scum, coward, and an embarrassment to all of us foreigners living in Taiwan. Your friend, David, is considered the same along these lines for helping a scum like you get away with murder. People like you, with absolute lack of respect for other nation's laws and regulations are the worst of examples for any foreigner that has come to call Taiwan their 2nd home.

Not owning up to your responsibilities as a MAN, let alone a decent HUMAN BEING is utterly shameful. We truly hope that you get caught one of these days and serve your life in prison. Consider yourself LUCKY to be given ONLY 4 years for killing someone, and that is only due to the poor judicial system here in Taiwan. Any additional sentences will also be well deserved, such as escaping the scene of the incident. May you rot in prison. If not, may you rot in hell when your time is called.
February 3, 2013    narawanda@
thm1229: I totally agree. And others who have any kind of sympathy for him do not belong here in Taiwan. Please leave.
February 3, 2013
You will be look-downed by people for the rest of your life, NOT a man!
If the victim were one of your families, how would you feel?
Shame on you.
February 3, 2013    curtisakber@
Just shows how stupid the judicial system is in Taiwan. You have been found guilty but we'll leave it up to you to find your own way to get to prison. I think I might try leave to Taiwan using a black guy's passport to see if the immigration stop me. Feel sorry for the victim but this could be a comedy if it wasn’t so sadly true.
February 6, 2013    jockadam@
As a foreign resident of more than 20 years I am committed to life in Taiwan and enjoy and accept both the good and the bad of my adopted home. I have followed this case closely and I wonder if I am the only one to wonder if the justice system can be trusted here? Can anyone familiar with the details of this case honestly say he received a fair trial? None that I have spoken with, both local and long term foreign residents, would say so. Of course my saying so will attract many shortsighted emotional responses but I recognize that any one of us could find ourselves in a similar situation at a moments notice and do any of you honestly think you have a chance at a fair trial? None of this is not to say he is innocent, nor condone Zains actions leading to and throughout the trial or his escape from Taiwan.
I see the President has taken an interest in the case, I hope he has the maturity and intelligence to recognize this as less of an issue with the Department of Immigration and more of a Department of Justice issue.
February 7, 2013    ludahai_twn@
@jockadam - you are absolutely correct. Foreigners can not expect to get a fair shake from the justice system here. I don't have direct knowledge of this case, but many who do say that evidence supporting Dean was ignored by the prosecutors and the court. However, I DO have direct experience with the local prosecutor's office in Taichung when I brought a defamation case against Taiwanese a few years back. Despite strong evidence and even an admission of guilt by one of them, no charges were pursued. I am confident were things reversed, the prosecutor would have gone after the foreigners.

I don't think it is too much for resident foreigners to expect a judicial that will treat them fairly and protect their rights. Sadly, this is not the case... at least not yet.
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