Hong Kong amended the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance (FOO) and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance (MLAO) Monday to include arrangements that would allow for extradition to Macau, Taiwan and mainland China on a case-by-case basis.
The revised ordinances aim to close a loophole exposed by a recent murder investigation in Taiwan. In February of last year, a Hong Kong man murdered his pregnant girlfriend while the two vacationed in Taipei. The man fled back to Hong Kong and could not be charged because no extradition agreement exists between Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Political rights activists and business leaders voiced concerns with the amendment. Those in opposition fear that the amendment allows mainland China to exert even more control over Hong Kong and further erode the the Special Administrative Area’s independence. Government officials responded by removing some economic crimes from the purview of the amendment and stating that political dissidents would not be subject to extradition.