New Zealand to extradite murder suspect to China
Update: April 15, 2022 10:39 p.m. STI
Wellington [New Zealand]April 15 (ANI): In a landmark ruling, a New Zealand court on Wednesday granted China’s extradition request for a murder suspect.
Chinese authorities have charged Kyung Yup Kim, a South Korean citizen who has permanent residence in New Zealand, with killing a woman in Shanghai in 2009, according to court documents, CNN reported.
Kyung will be extradited to China for trial after more than a decade of legal battle.
China first sought his extradition from New Zealand in 2011, but Kim’s lawyers argued he could be tortured and would not receive a fair trial under the country’s murky court system, causing years of legal wrangling, CNN reported.
Like many Western countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, New Zealand does not have an extradition treaty with China.
In its ruling, the New Zealand Supreme Court ruled by three judges to two that Kim’s extradition should proceed. The three judges in favor said they had received sufficient assurances from China and were “convinced that there was no real risk that Kim would face an unfair trial”.
Chinese authorities had assured the court that if extradited, Kim would have access to New Zealand consular staff and would be tried and detained in Shanghai rather than being sent elsewhere in the country, according to the ruling.
Kim has lived in New Zealand since she was 14, according to court documents. Her mother is also a permanent resident of New Zealand, while her father, brother and two children are citizens.
The case against him dates back to December 2009, when a young woman who worked as a waitress in a bar was found dead in Shanghai, according to court documents. At the time, Kim was visiting Shanghai and rented an apartment there, CNN reported.
Pieces of a quilt were found on his body – which were identified by Kim’s girlfriend as similar to the one he owned. When police searched Kim’s apartment, they found samples matching the waitress’ DNA.
In China, the courts, prosecutors and police are overseen by the powerful Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China and its local branches.
China’s court system has a conviction rate of around 99%, according to legal observers. Human rights advocates say unfair trials and torture and ill-treatment of prisoners are common, CNN reported. (ANI)