New Zealand court rules man accused of murder can be extradited to China

New Zealand’s Supreme Court has dominated {that a} South Korean guy accused of murdering a lady in Shanghai will also be extradited to stand trial in China, a judgment that human rights teams say puts undue religion in Beijing’s diplomatic guarantees.

Legal professionals and human rights teams mentioned the ruling within the 11-year-old case may set a felony precedent and embolden China to request the extradition of a much broader vary of suspected criminals together with non-Chinese nationals.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dominated through 3 to 2 that Kyung Yup Kim, who isn’t a Chinese citizen, may well be extradited following assurances from China that he would obtain an excellent trial.

Kim, a resident of Auckland, was once arrested in 2011 after China made a request to the New Zealand authorities to extradite him to stand trial for the homicide of Chen Peiyun, a Shanghai intercourse employee, in 2009.

A decrease courtroom dominated in 2013 that Kim was once eligible to be extradited, and the New Zealand minister of justice determined in 2015 to continue with the extradition.

After appeals, the Supreme Court agreed in June final 12 months that Kim may well be extradited so long as China equipped assurances, together with that his trial could be in Shanghai and that New Zealand consular officers could be allowed to seek advice from him each and every 48 hours previously to safeguard him towards torture.

Michael Caster, co-founder of human rights staff Safeguard Defenders, mentioned the ruling set a felony and political precedent that may inspire courts and governments all over the world to imagine China’s diplomatic assurances and extradite non-Chinese nationals to China.

Caster mentioned it went towards a rising development of courts in democratic international locations refusing to recognise China’s diplomatic assurances.

“The court has not done their homework, they have not been swayed by the reality of China’s consistent trend of violating diplomatic assurances and consular agreements,” he mentioned. “In case after case, the requirement that China grants consular access has been ignored or flatly rejected.”

Tony Ellis, the barrister representing Kim, mentioned the ruling intended his shopper had no additional recourse in New Zealand courts. “But we can go to United Nations Human Rights Committee, which we will be doing, and we’re asking for interim relief so that he won’t be extradited until the decision is fully considered,” he mentioned.

“It’s a very backward decision for international human rights law, and the Chinese will now be able to use this as a precedent to extradite economic criminals,” he mentioned, including that few democratic countries had extradited criminals to China in recent times.

Ellis advised New Zealand’s heavy financial reliance on China may have influenced the minister’s choice to extradite Kim. More than 1 / 4 of New Zealand’s exports cross to China.

A 2016 assessment through the New Zealand Law Commission, an impartial government-funded frame, referred to as for selections on extradition to be made through a government and brought out of the palms of the minister of justice in virtually all instances.

It argued there was once a possibility that extradition selections would “inevitably involve considerations of international relations and obligations that are best dealt with by a minister”.

The New Zealand Ministry of Justice didn’t straight away reply to a request for remark.

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