Mother of murdered Poon Hiu-wing calls off meeting with Hong Kong police at last minute

Chris Lau
·3-min read

A woman campaigning to have her daughter’s suspected killer sent to Taiwan to face justice called off a meeting with Hong Kong police at the last minute on Sunday.

The mother of Poon Hiu-wing accused authorities of not being sincere in their desire to hold the meeting, after police failed to respond to a list of questions she issued on Saturday night.

Poon was killed on the self-ruled island in 2018, and authorities there believe her boyfriend at the time, Chan Tong-kai, was involved.

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On Friday, police asked the woman for a meeting at 11am on Sunday, which she said was so the force could return some of her daughter’s possessions, which were seized in relation to a money-laundering case against Chan that arose out of the 20-year-old’s death.

Murder suspect Chan Tong-kai. Photo: AP
Murder suspect Chan Tong-kai. Photo: AP

Poon, who had said she was happy to help in exchanges between officers and their Taiwanese counterparts over Chan’s surrender, said she would decide whether to attend based on how sincere she believed police were.

She issued a series of questions surrounding the political deadlock that has prevented Chan from being sent to Taiwan, asking what police could do about it, and gave officers until 10am on Sunday to respond.

The deadline was extended by 30 minutes, but according to a spokesman, the meeting was called off, “because the police have ignored us”. The mother has insisted on remaining anonymous throughout.

A police spokesman said they had been actively following up with the deceased’s family to maintain communication, but would not comment on details of potential meetings.

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But a source on the force said they were told the mother was feeling unwell when they attempted to reach her by phone on Saturday.

While not confirming the Saturday call, the mother’s spokesman said police had called twice on Sunday, but that she did not pick up, texting back instead and asking them to provide answers to her questions.

Chan, now 22, is wanted in Taiwan for killing Poon during a holiday trip to Taipei in February two years ago. After her death, he returned to Hong Kong, where he was jailed for money laundering in connection with the use of her bank account.

During the trial, the court heard Chan had told investigators he killed Poon, but Hong Kong courts were unable to try him because it was outside their jurisdiction.

Hong Kong police invite mother of murder victim Poon Hiu-wing for talks

The case prompted the Hong Kong government to propose its ill-fated extradition bill, which would have allowed fugitives to be sent to jurisdictions the city did not have an agreement with, including mainland China. The bill ultimately sparked last year’s civil unrest.

Chan, who has been living in a police safe house since his release from prison last year, has been stuck in limbo, with Taiwan and Hong Kong trading shots over the procedure of his surrender and the exercise of jurisdictions and government powers.

A senior police source told the Post they hoped to understand what Poon’s mother wanted, and how they could help, although the source said the government would maintain its limitations on mutual legal assistance and evidence exchange between the two jurisdictions.

Taiwan has been insisting on government-level engagements through a formal mechanism first, but acceding to the request could give the appearance of Hong Kong treating the self-ruled island, which China considers to be a renegade province, as a sovereign state.

The Hong Kong authorities said Chan was a free man and they no longer had jurisdiction over him, but were willing to facilitate his surrender through the cooperation by police officers from both sides.

This article Mother of murdered Poon Hiu-wing calls off meeting with Hong Kong police at last minute first appeared on South China Morning Post

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