Hong Kong warns probe against those who help pro-democracy protestors escape

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Representative Image
Representative Image

Hong Kong, January 9 (ANI): The Hong Kong Government, under the draconian National Security Law, has warned that the police would investigate anyone who helps an "offender" to abscond from Hong Kong after reports emerged that the city was looking into prosecuting two Danish politicians who aided former opposition lawmaker Ted Hui Chi-fung as he fled to Europe.

South China Morning Post citing Danish reports, reported that the government was also examining the possibility of extraditing politicians Uffe Elbaek and Katarina Ammitzboll, as they had helped Hui head to Denmark at the end of November.

The incident, which has already provoked a strong response from Beijing, could trigger a diplomatic row between Denmark and China.

The Security Bureau in Hong Kong did not confirm the report, saying only that Hui, who had been prosecuted for various criminal offences, had openly jumped court bail and absconded.

The bureau stated that he is an offender who fabricated false reasons and lied to the court in an attempt to abscond added to the severity of his crime.

"In light of the circumstances of each case, the police will track down the whereabouts of the fugitive offenders through various means in accordance with the law and pursue them," the bureau told the Post.

It added, "Wherever any person, regardless of his nationality, is suspected of having committed a crime in organising, planning or aiding the absconding, or in such criminal conspiracy, the police will actively investigate and pursue their legal liabilities under the existing legal framework."

Out on bail and facing a raft of criminal charges related to pro-government protests that broke out in 2019, the former lawmaker left Hong Kong for Denmark on November 30.

The draconian national security law also applies to offences committed against Hong Kong outside the city by a person who is not a permanent resident.

Beijing last month accused Danish politicians of harbouring 'criminals' and meddling in China's domestic affairs by supporting Hui, according to South China Morning Post.

"We oppose having any individual in any country interfering in Hong Kong's matters and China's domestic affairs in any way, and harbouring criminals," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

Hui faces nine charges including one count of being involved in an act intended to pervert the course of justice, as well as two counts of obtaining access to a computer with dishonest intent, and criminal damage over a protest in Tuen Mun.

According to the draconian security law, a principal offender convicted of subversion faces imprisonment of 10 years to life, while an "active participant" can be sentenced to between three and 10 years' jail, while a minor can face a fixed term of not more than three years' imprisonment or short-term detention or restriction. (ANI)