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The murder suspect who triggered the protests in Hong Kong is released

Chan Tong Kai, the murder suspect whose case triggered the current protests in Hong Kong, has been released from prison on Wednesday morning, the China Morning Post reported.

The young man, 20, was accused of murdering his girlfriend, who was pregnant, during a vacation in Taiwan. Chan has apologized to his girlfriend's family and Hong Kong people at a press conference.

“I am willing, for my impulsive act and the things I did wrong, to surrender to Taiwan to face the sentence,” he said, adding that he would have to accept the consequences of the “worst mistake” he made. “I hope this can make your family feel a little relieved,” he added.

The murder suspect who triggered the protests in Hong Kong is released
The murder suspect who triggered the protests in Hong Kong is released

The lack of an extradition agreement between Hong Kong and Taiwan has caused Chan to serve only 18 months in prison for stealing belongings from his girlfriend.

Chan has said he is willing to travel to Taiwan, where he is wanted for murder. The Government of Hong Kong has indicated in the early hours of Wednesday that Taiwan has no jurisdiction to send agents to move the young man back to Taipei.

In addition, the Government has indicated that Chan has the freedom to travel there and that Taipei should cancel the current landing restriction. He has also stressed that Hong Kong could not handle the murder case, since the evidence is in Taiwan.

For his part, the Secretary of Security of Hong Kong, John Lee, said later that the authorities in Taiwan are obstructing the case of Chan for political reasons.

This case inspired Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to try to reform extradition laws last spring, but her plans failed.

If Lam's bill had come into force, it would also have affected Hong Kong's extradition procedures with China, which led to mass demonstrations fearing that Beijing would exercise more central control over China's special administrative region and damage to their special status.

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