New Zealand's top court allows pathway for China extradition
Faafoi is from a liberal government and will decide how to proceed at a time when relations with China have deteriorated.The court acknowledged Faafoi might see things differently, saying he would be entitled to depart from the previous ministers decision. Faafoi said Friday he wouldnt comment while the case was still being litigated.Kims lead lawyer Tony Ellis said they were surprised and disappointed by the Supreme Courts partial decision.
- New Zealand
New Zealand's top court on Friday left open the possibility that a man could be extradited to China to face murder charges in a landmark case that has big diplomatic implications. It remains uncertain whether the extradition of Kyung Yup Kim will proceed in a case that has already dragged on for more than a decade.
Such assurances could include confirmation that representatives could visit Kim at least every 48 hours during the investigation and that the trial takes place in Shanghai.
But times have changed since a previous justice minister from conservative government-backed extradition. Faafoi is from a liberal government and will decide how to proceed at a time when relations with China have deteriorated.
The court acknowledged Faafoi might see things differently, saying he would be "entitled to depart from the previous minister's decision.'' Faafoi said Friday he wouldn't comment while the case was still being litigated.
"It engages in endemic use of torture, does not guarantee fair trials, and more widely rejects the basic premise that it must respect international human rights law," Ellis said.
He said Kim had already suffered severe depression and physical health problems after being incarcerated for more than five years and spending another three years on electronic monitoring, making him the longest-serving prisoner not to face a trial in modern New Zealand.
Ellis said they would also challenge the partial judgment before the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
According to court documents, Kim is a South Korean citizen who moved to New Zealand more than 30 years ago with his family when he was 14. He is accused of killing a 20-year-old waitress and sex worker, Peiyun Chen, in Shanghai after traveling to the city to visit a different woman who was his girlfriend at the time.
Chen was found in a Shanghai wasteland on New Year's Eve 2009. An autopsy concluded she had been strangled to death, and that she'd also been hit in the head with a blunt object.
Chinese police say they have forensic and circumstantial evidence linking Kim to the crime, including a quilt found with the body. Police say a distraught Kim told an acquaintance he may have "beaten a prostitute to death." Kim says he is innocent. Ellis said his defense case would be that his former girlfriend, who has Communist Party connections, is responsible for the crime.
Kim was arrested in 2011 after China asked to extradite him on one count of intentional homicide. He spent five years in a New Zealand jail as his extradition case proceeded before he was released on bail.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)