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Taiwan urges Beijing court to observe rights of convicted nationals

2017/12/21 18:31:54

Taipei, Dec. 21 (CNA) Taiwan's government is calling for Beijing to respect the rights of Taiwan nationals to appeal the court decision and receive visits from family members following a verdict handed down on Thursday in an international telecom fraud case involving 44 Taiwanese nationals.

A Beijing court handed down verdicts on 85 fraud suspects on Thursday, 44 of whom are Taiwanese arrested in Kenya and extradited to China in April 2016.

The longest prison sentences, 15 years, were handed down to two Taiwan nationals, Chang Kai-min (張凱閔) and Lin Chin-te (林金德), who were identified as leaders of the fraud scheme.

While speaking at the Legislative Yuan, Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chang Hsiao-yueh (張小月) said that the government is extremely disappointed with the outcome of the situation, especially since Taiwan has been asking China to return the Taiwanese suspects so that the two sides can investigate their alleged crimes together.

Chang said she is looking for China to be more open about the case against the Taiwan nationals and provide information detailing the facts and evidence on which the convictions were based.

In the meantime, she hopes China will respect the legal rights of those individuals to appeal the decision and receive visits from their families.

The Ministry of Justice's (MOJ) Department of International and Cross-Strait Legal Affairs and the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) released statements commenting on the sentencing.

The MOJ said it was disappointed that China failed to cooperate with Taiwan on this case of telecom fraud in accordance with an agreement signed by both sides in April and May last year.

However, the department continues to urge China to work with Taiwan on international fraud cases in order to safeguard the rights of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

The MAC expressed similar disappointment in its statement, addressing many of the same points mentioned by the minister at the Legislature.

The MAC continues to insist that Taiwan nationals suspected of crimes abroad should be returned to Taiwan for investigation and where these crimes involve China, cross-strait efforts can then be made to investigate them together.

(By Wang Yang-yu, Chen Chun-hwa, Miao Zong-han and Kuan-lin Liu)