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MOFA calls on Spain to return Taiwanese nationals suspected of fraud

2017/12/16 20:26:28

Taipei, Dec. 16 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) called on the Spanish government on Saturday to observe the nationality principle and send Taiwanese suspects currently detained in that country for alleged telecom fraud back to Taiwan.

On Friday, the Spanish National Court announced its decision to send the first batch of telecom fraud suspects, 121 out of 269 Chinese and Taiwanese nationals arrested late last year, to China per a bilateral judicial assistance accord between Spain and China.

In response, MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said the ministry is calling on the Spanish government to observe the principles of nationality, proportionality and humanity which dictate that Spain should send the Taiwanese suspects back to Taiwan.

In particular, the nationality principle is an international tenet that recognizes the right of a country to exercise sovereign jurisdiction over its nationals even if they violate the law in another country.

According to Director General Lincoln Ting (丁樂群) of MOFA's Treaty and Legal Affairs Department, the judicial procedure is still ongoing for these telecom fraud suspects, which means they can appeal any decision handed down.

In the meantime, the ministry will continue to petition the Spanish government for the return of the Taiwanese nationals, Ting said.

Lee said that MOFA will continue to monitor the situation in order to ensure the judicial rights of Taiwanese nationals are not infringed.

(By Elaine Hou and Kuan-lin Liu)