Fugitive Extradition Bill: Macau gov’t will wait for Hong Kong

The president of the Macau Lawyers Association (AAM), Jorge Neto Valente, thinks that is too early to debate the possibility of the Macau government preparing a bill that, similar to the one being prepared in Hong Kong, would grant extradition rights over fugitives residing in other parts of the greater China region.

Questioned by the media on the topic, Neto Valente said, “[for the time being] we have no knowledge about any bill being prepared. Until this moment, as far as I know, the government of Macau has not disclosed any text of a possible agreement [among the several parties that could give a green light to the bill].”

“I think we are all, including the government, waiting to see what happens in Hong Kong, where the situation is not simple [to solve].”

“The only thing I saw in the media was actually an interesting reaction from the Taiwan side in which they said that is not enough for Hong Kong to decide [whether] they deliver or not deliver [fugitives] because this demands a position from [the] Taiwan side and apparently Taiwan is not interested [in collaborating on such a topic].”

Focusing on the Macau side, Neto Valente said, “What is certain is in Macau we haven’t yet discussed such topic and so I think it is a bit too early to have any official position.”

Regarding a possible advance in reaching an agreement between the extradition of fugitives between Portugal and Macau, arising from the visit to Portugal of the Chief Executive and the Secretary for Administration and Justice, Sonia Chan,  Neto Valente said, “This might be a false issue, first because the number of existing cases is very low and then because there is a matter that even the Secretary already clarified, [that is] the Portuguese nationals would never be extradited to Macau or somewhere else and because on these [matters] there is always a need for reciprocity, Macau would never extradite any Macau resident who is not a Portuguese [national] to Portugal.”

The president of AAM also noted that in case something comes from the government on the topic, the Association should be heard during the process. However, that “does not mean that they will accept our opinions – and they often don’t,” he cautioned.

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