TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Around Valentine’s Day last year, the decomposing body of a pregnant Hong Kong woman, 21-year-old Poon Hiu-wing, turned up in the tall grass near a riverside spot in a suburban area of Taipei, Taiwan’s capital.
Her boyfriend, also from Hong Kong, was the prime suspect in her slaying but escaped to the semi-autonomous Chinese territory before Taiwanese police could take him into custody.
The murder case was cited by Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, as justification for amendments to the city’s extradition laws, a move that many said would make suspects vulnerable to being sent to mainland China, where they could face torture and unfair trials. The massive anti-government protests set off by the legislation in June have grown increasingly violent.
The release of the suspect Wednesday after serving a sentence for a separate offense and the legal tussle between Hong Kong and Taipei over his fate underscore deep political divisions between Taiwan’s freewheeling democracy and independent judiciary and China’s tightly controlled, authoritarian one-party system.
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