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Taiwan's U.K. office rejects conditions set by British fugitive

2013/02/06 16:29:07

London, Feb. 5 (CNA) Taiwan's representative office in the United Kingdom said Tuesday that it had rejected conditions set forth by a British fugitive for him to return to Taiwan to be retired for his conviction in a fatal hit-and-run case.

Shen Lyu-shun, Taiwan's representative to the U.K., told CNA that the office a few days earlier received an e-mail from the British man, Zain Dean, in which Dean said he would only be willing to return to Taiwan on four conditions.

The conditions -- a retrial, having video evidence presented in court, having human rights observers present at the new trial and for him to be free of discrimination based on his skin color -- he is of South Asian ethnicity -- were flatly rejected by the office, Shen said.

Dean claimed during his trial that he was being oppressed because of his identity as a foreigner in Taiwan.

Shen said that as a convicted fugitive, Dean has no right to negotiate with the Taiwan government and that if he has question about the ruling, he can file an extraordinary appeal or petition for a retrial in accordance with Taiwan's laws, both of which would require Dean to return to Taiwan.

Dean, who served as CEO of U.K.-based NCL Media's Taiwan chapter, was convicted in July last year of the hit-and-run death of a newspaper delivery man in downtown Taipei in March 2010 while under the influence of alcohol.

Dean was supposed to begin serving his sentence last September, but fled the country using the passport of a British friend on Aug. 14 of that year.

Shen said related agencies in Taiwan and the representative office have been working hard to persuade Dean to return to Taiwan to face justice, including the possibility of civil compensation, persuading the U.K. government to extradite him -- Taiwan and the U.K. have no extradition agreement -- or using the pressure of public opinion.

The representative office said Taiwan and the U.K. have mutually recognized the rulings in five civil suits and it expressed hope that the British judiciary will handle Dean's case in accordance with the previous instances.

In addition, the representative office also found out that Dean's media company in Taiwan still has outstanding tax arrears.

Letters sent to the company's registered address in Edinburgh regarding the outstanding tax were returned to Taiwan's representative office in Edinburgh, marked undeliverable.

(By Jennifer Huang and Jamie Wang)