Chan Tong-kai: Man who killed girlfriend and set off Hong Kong protests becomes Christian, ready to go to Taiwan

Chan could not be brought to the book in Taiwan and made to stand trial for murder as there was no extradition agreement between Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Hong Kong protest march
Hong Kong protest march YouTube grab

In a weird twist to the long-drawn Hong Kong potboiler revolving around a murder in Taiwan and the massive pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong, 21-year-old Chan Tong-kai, the accused murderer, has expressed his willingness to go back to Taiwan to face justice.

Chan, who is serving a short jail sentence in Hong Kong, and is likely be released soon on account of good behaviour, will go to Taiwan, a clergyman has said, according to AFP. Anglican clergyman Reverend Peter Koon has been visiting Chan in prison routinely.

"He expressed great regret for the victim's family and he was very sorry for causing such trouble in Hong Kong," Koon said.

What was the crime?

Chan Tong-kai is accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend Poon Hiu-wing during a holiday in Taiwan in February. The investigators said he killed her after she allegedly provoked him by saying that the unborn baby was fathered by another man. She also apparently showed him videos of her having sex with another man. Chan hit her head against the wall and strangled her to death.

He then packed her body in a suitcase and dumped it in the outskirts of Taipei. Chan returned to Hong Kong and withdrew a couple of thousands of dollars using her ATM card and repaid his credit card bills. As the police caught up following the discovery of the girlfriend's body in Taipei, Chan confessed to the killing. However, since the crime was committed in Taiwan, Hog Kong charged him with money laundering charges that attract milder punishment. Culpable homicide attracts death sentence in Taiwan.

How is he related to Hong Kong protests?

Chan could not be brought to the book in Taiwan and made to stand trial for murder as there was no extradition agreement between Taiwan and Hong Kong. It was in this context that the Hong Kong administration proposed an extradition bill under which criminals could be extradited from Hong Kong to any country. The proposal brought by the pro-Beijing government brought in the clause that suspects can be extradited to mainland China as well.

This triggered the massive protests in Hong Kong, which went on to become a wider prop-democracy movement.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam IANS

What next?

Chan's offer to willingly go to Taiwan and face justice there will little change the scene in Hong Kong. The protests in the former British colony have gone beyond the anti-extradition movement. But it will certainly bring closure to a sensational murder case. "I believe he will keep his word," says pastor Koon.

The pastor said Chan converted to Christianity during his prison stay. Though Taiwan gives death penalty to convicted murderers, Chan was unlikely to face it if he voluntarily gives himself up to the law.