Zain Dean will challenge his extradition from Scotland to Taiwan on the basis of Taiwanese prison conditions, according to reports this week.
In July 2012, Mr Dean was convicted of manslaughter, driving under the influence of alcohol, and of committing a hit-and-run offence, in relation to the death of a man in Taipei in 2010. He was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment.
On August 2012, Mr Dean absconded to the United Kingdom, using the passport of a friend. He was arrested by Scottish police on 17 October 2013, after Taiwan signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the UK authorities.
The Edinburgh Sheriff Court ordered Mr Dean’s extradition to Taiwan, to serve his sentence, on 11 June 2014. The Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Justice formally approved the request.
Mr Dean has appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeals in Edinburgh. On 24 June 2015, Court of Appeal judges Lady Paton, Lord Drummond Young and Lady Clark of Calton fixed a hearing to take place in September 2015.
In a written judgment, Lady Paton confirmed that the Court would continue to consider Mr Dean’s appeal, and his contention that he will be subjected to inhumane and degrading conditions in a Taiwanese prison, in breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The UK does not maintain a formal extradition arrangement with Taiwan, and the MOU used to formalise Mr Dean’s extradition required careful co-ordination between authorities in the UK and Taiwan.
The MOU is the first of its kind in existence between the two countries, and is particularly significant because the UK has hitherto not recognised Taiwan’s status as a territory for the purposes of extradition.