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June 29, 2017

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Taiwan is seeking to probe British fugitive Dean's assets

TAIPEI--The Ministry of Justice said Saturday it is hiring a lawyer in Britain, on behalf of the family of a hit-and-run victim, to investigate the assets of a United Kingdom citizen found guilty in the case.

The investigation of assets will be carried out in an effort to ensure payment of compensation to the victim's family, the ministry said.

On May 23, the High Court in London ruled that Zain Dean should pay NT$9 million (US$300,000) in civil damages to the family of Huang Chun-te as ordered by a Taiwanese court. Dean has not appealed the ruling.

Huang, a newspaper delivery man, died after being run over by a car purportedly driven by Dean in the early hours of March 25, 2010.

According to the ministry, if the investigation finds that Dean has disposed of his assets or is financially unable to pay the money at present, the family will obtain a debt obligation from a British court that will allow seizure of Dean's assets or income in the future.

Dean, who was head of a British company's office in Taiwan, 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.

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 has the right to appeal the extradition ruling.

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