New Zealand Stops Chinese Extradition on Human Rights Concerns

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Friday, June 21, 2019
Bruce Zagaris

On June 11, 2019, the New Zealand Court of Appeal ruled against returning South Korean national and New Zealand resident Kyung Yup Kim, who is accused of murdering a 20-year-old Chinese woman while he was visiting Shanghai a decade ago, ordering the New Zealand executive to reassess its decision to extradite him on the basis he could be subjected to human rights abuses if returned. The Court of Appeal quashed a ministerial order and raised concerns over torture and the chances of a fair trial.  It ruled the justice minister Andrew Little to reconsider the case, taking into account evidence about whether Kim, who denies the charge, is at risk of torture and whether he would obtain a fair trial. The strongly worded ruling came two days after hundreds of thousands of people in Hong Kong protested a plan by the local government to permit extraditions to China. It further followed a decision by Australia two years ago to refuse to sign a proposed extradition treaty with China due to concerns about international human rights.