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President Ma hoping for more extraditions

TAIPEI--Encouraged by the latest victory in the extradition battle in the United Kingdom involving convicted British fugitive Zain Dean, President Ma Ying-jeou said Thursday that the government will seek the return of other criminals who have fled abroad to ensure that they face their punishment.

Ma said the ruling by a Scottish court on Dean's case has set a very important precedent for international judicial cooperation, given that the Republic of China and the UK do not have diplomatic relations or a bilateral extradition treaty.

“The government is very gratified at the ruling, which proves we are working in the right direction,” Ma said during a meeting with visiting Djibrill Yipene Bassole, Burkina Faso's minister of foreign affairs and regional cooperation.

The president said the development also demonstrates that a country with a democratic system, independent judiciary and prosperous society will win the respect of others.

In a landmark decision, Sheriff Kenneth Maciver of the Edinburgh Sheriff Court ruled a day earlier that Dean, who was convicted of killing a deliveryman in Taipei while driving drunk in 2010, should be extradited to Taiwan.

The ruling can be appealed.

Dean, who worked as the 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, manslaughter and hit-and-run. He fled Taiwan the following month using a friend's passport.

Dean was arrested by Scottish police Oct. 17, 2013, one day after Taiwan and the UK signed a memorandum of understanding on his extradition.

In late May, the High Court of Justice in London ruled that Dean is also responsible for civil damages to the victim's family as ordered by a Taiwanese court.

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