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Taiwan condemns Spanish court ruling sending Taiwanese to China

2017/12/16 17:20:27

Image taken from Pixabay

Taipei, Dec. 16 (CNA) The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) criticized the decision of Spain's National Court on Friday to send 121 suspects in a telecoms fraud cause, all of whom are Chinese and Taiwanese nationals, to mainland China.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the MAC condemned the decision, calling it a ploy by China to suppress Taiwan on the international stage.

The MAC reiterated that together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Criminal Investigation Bureau, it would continue to monitor the situation and called on China to cooperate on an investigation into the alleged telecoms fraud so that the arrested Taiwan nationals can be returned to Taiwan as soon as possible.

Spanish authorities arrested a total of 269 individuals for suspected telecoms fraud totaling up to $12 million euros late last year, with 218 identified as Taiwanese nationals.

Although Taiwan asked for the Taiwanese suspects to be returned, the Spanish authorities did not respond to said request having already promised to send all 269 suspects to China under a bilateral judicial assistance accord.

In its Friday decision to send the first batch of suspects to China, the Spanish National Court ruled against claims by lawyers representing the Taiwanese suspects that "Taiwan is not a part of China" which means that these individuals should not be sent there.

The identities of the 121 suspects who will now be extradited have not been confirmed, so the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Madrid is currently unable to confirm how many are Taiwan nationals, it told CNA.

TECO is monitoring the situation and will offer assistance to Taiwanese suspects and their families.

(By Miao Zong-han, Tzeng Yi-shiuan and Kuan-lin Liu)