Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice (MOJ) on Saturday said it will apply to extradite a Taiwanese man currently incarcerated in Poland, the ministry said in a statement.
Court documents indicate that the man, identified by the Polish authorities as Liu Hung-tao (劉宏濤), is currently detained in the Polish capital Warsaw and represented by lawyer Marcin Gorski.
Liu was found to be a part of a large internet fraud ring operating out of Spain.
The ring, which consisted of around 260 members, was reported to have been predominantly Taiwanese, leading to the formation of a Spanish and Chinese taskforce that subsequently dismantled it in 2016 and 2017.
Liu was initially sentenced and scheduled to be extradited to China by Poland’s supreme court for his involvement in the fraud ring.
However, Liu appealed, claiming that the court’s decision was in violation of articles 3 and 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibit torture and other forms of ill-treatment of prisoners, and offer protection to a fair trial.
Gorski made Liu’s argument to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), stating that extradition to China would likely threaten the Taiwanese man’s safety and wellbeing, and was therefore a violation of his rights detailed in the articles.
On Oct. 6, the ECHR unanimously ruled in Liu’s favor, noting “torture and other forms of ill-treatment are credibly and consistently reported to be used in Chinese detention facilities and penitentiaries.”
Subsequently, Gorski described the ECHR’s decision as a milestone as it would likely curb other European countries’ willingness to implement similar rulings in future cases.
On Nov. 3, non-governmental organization Safeguard Defenders also applauded the decision of the ECHR, stating that the ruling could set a precedent causing European countries to stop extraditing suspects to China.
In addition, the NGO has said the decision falls within the purview of the European Convention on Human Rights, unlike the actions previously taken by European countries in similar cases.
While court documents indicate that Liu could be released three months after the ECHR’s ruling, Taiwan’s MOJ said Saturday it will seek to extradite him back to Taiwan to stand trial.
The MOJ said it recognizes and applauds the ECHR’s decision and will explore criminal and judicial agreements between Taiwan and Poland to extradite Liu to face the charges Taiwan’s criminal justice system is prepared to file against him.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel