September 23, 2016
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) of the Republic of China (Taiwan), as well as MOFA’s missions in Great Britain and Edinburgh, announced that they would continue to press for the extradition of British national Zain Dean to Taiwan, this following a Scottish High Court of Justiciary ruling September 23 that Mr. Dean, convicted by a Taiwan court of manslaughter in a 2010 hit-and-run case, would not be extradited to serve out his sentence.
The ROC and the United Kingdom, which maintains a three-level court system, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on extradition on October 16, 2013; Scottish police arrested Mr. Dean the following day. On June 11, 2014, a Scottish district court ruled that Mr. Dean should be extradited to Taiwan to serve out his sentence. In August, this decision was approved of by the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Justice. After Mr. Dean filed an appeal on August 15, the case was transferred to the High Court of Justiciary in Scotland, where the persecutors’ office and the defendant and his lawyers heatedly debated the ROC’s legal status, the impartiality of judiciary processes as applied in Taiwan’s courts, prison conditions in Taiwan, and whether Taiwan will further prosecute Mr. Dean for having fled the country. During this period, the ROC MOJ and the Taipei Representative Office in the UK have maintained close contact with the Scottish persecutors’ office to exchange views and information to help the latter on the case. To date, Mr. Dean has been held in an Edinburgh jail for two years and 10 months.
The MOU on extradition signed between Taiwan and the UK as pertaining to this case, and recognition of the ROC’s legal status by a Scottish court, have set a precedent for Taiwan-UK bilateral judicial cooperation. Although the ROC regrets the Scottish high court’s judgment, which is not the final decision, and the ROC will not give up on efforts to change the situation; it will continue to urge Scottish prosecutors to appeal. MOFA will further cooperate with its overseas missions and the MOJ toward the extradition of Mr. Dean. (E)