Murderer Chan Tong-kai will return to face punishment in Taiwan for the killing of his girlfriend in 2018 as soon as pandemic-related travel restrictions allow, he says.
The case was at the heart of the anti-extradition bill protests that rocked Hong Kong last year as activists feared the scope of the law was unreasonable and could be abused by authorities.
Chan was due to stand trial for the murder of his girlfriend Poon Hiu-wing in Taiwan last year, however these plans were delayed first by the 2020 Taiwanese presidential elections and subsequently by the coronavirus pandemic.
"I apologize to you again for what was done to Hiu-wing. I've never changed my [mind] about returning to Taiwan, I'm asking lawyers to arrange my return," Chan told the victim's mother in a recorded message.
Chan, aged 19 at the time, murdered the pregnant 20-year-old Poon on a holiday to Taiwan in February 2018. After disposing of her body in a suitcase, he withdrew money from the deceased's bank account to pay off his credit card and fund a shopping spree.
Poon's family reported their daughter missing in early March and Chan confessed to her murder soon after the body was found. Owing to the lack of extradition arrangements between Taiwan and Hong Kong, the teenager couldn't be charged with murder.
Instead, Chan was tried for money laundering in connection with the cash he stole and sentenced to 29 months in prison. Taking time served into account, he was released after 19 months in October 2019.
Chan is currently under police protection in Hong Kong as he waits for pandemic travel restrictions to lift. When they do, Rev. Canon Peter Douglas Koon will accompany the murder suspect to face justice in Taiwan.
"The lawyers in Taiwan will be in touch with the respective legal departments in Taiwan to discuss relevant issues," Koon said.