Labour Party lawmaker Fernando Cheung has resurrected debate on the possible extradition of a Hong Kong murder suspect to Taiwan, saying he has submitted a private member's bill that would enable the rendition to take place.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam had cited the murder case as a prime reason for introducing her despised and now-suspended extradition bill that has brought Hong Kong weeks of protests, political paralysis and the worst social unrest since the handover.
Lam had insisted that the SAR's laws on extraditions must be changed before this summer so that Hong Kong man Chan Tong-kai could be sent back to Taiwan to face trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Poon Hiu-wing, in Taipei last year.
On Thursday, Cheung agreed that there is a pressing need to amend the law so that arrangements can begin to extradite Chan before he finishes a prison term for a money-laundering offence relating to Poon's death.
The pro-democracy lawmaker said his bill would change the part of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance that currently rules out extraditions to any other area of the People’s Republic of China, to only ruling out the surrender of fugitives to the mainland and Macau.
Cheung said he wants to help the family of the murder victim get justice before it is "too late".
"To introduce the bill at this moment might stir up further controversies, we certainly understand that. But we really intend to solve the problem of the injustice of the Taiwan murder case," he said.
"We know that time is of the essence. The suspect could be released in October. If no law is passed within this time frame, justice may not prevail," Cheung said.
Meanwhile, Civic Party leader Alvin Yeung said Lam has formally rejected his proposal for tackling the murder case, citing a number of legal reasons for the decision.
His private member's bill was to give the SAR's courts the power to try Hong Kong suspects for murders committed overseas.
"It seems like the Chief Executive is not willing to accept any proposal put forward by the democratic legislators," Yeung said.