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2020-10-16 HKT 19:07
The Secretary for Security John Lee on Friday stepped up the war of words by accusing Taiwan of disrespecting Hong Kong's legal system by insisting the murder suspect be handed over formally.
Lee expressed hopes that the existing communication channel between the two police forces could help resolve the dispute, paving the way for Chan Tong-kai to travel to Taiwan and turn himself in.
The security chief reiterated that the Hong Kong government cannot extradite Chan, stressing he served his prison term and is a free man here.
Hong Kong and Taiwan have been locking horns over Chan's case which sparked last year's extradition bill crisis, even as he has said he is willing to face justice in Taiwan over the murder of his girlfriend there in 2018.
Taiwanese authorities are reported to have rejected a visa application by Chan, and Taipei said he cannot enter the island as he pleases.
Lee said Taipei has shown no sincerity in resolving the matter by refusing to let Chan enter or approve his visa application.
He said one would assume that authorities who have issued an arrest warrant would make all their efforts to arrest the suspect, and Taiwan's stance does not make sense.
"When Chan indicates he is willing to go to Taiwan, it shocks everybody with common sense that he would be refused or his intended trip to Taiwan is in any way hindered," he said.
Meanwhile, officials have blamed a rise in deception offences in Hong Kong on the Covid-19 pandemic and anti-government protests.
Latest figures showed the number of deception cases in the first eight months of 2020 doubled year on year to more than 10,000, with significant increases in online shopping, online romance and email scams.
Lee said Covid-19 and violent protests have made people stay at home, making them more susceptible to online scammers.
The total number of crime in the city is up some 25 percent to over 42,000 cases, with violent crime rising 13 percent.