Lawyers argue human rights over Scots’ extradition

Zain Dean's lawyers will address the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh. Picture: Toby Williams
Zain Dean's lawyers will address the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh. Picture: Toby Williams
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APPEAL judges will hear evidence about the condition of Taiwanese prisons before deciding whether to allow the first extradition from Scotland to the far eastern country.

Lawyers acting for Zain Dean, 43, will address the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh in September about the state of jails there.

The briefs will argue that Mr Dean’s human rights would be violated if the Scottish court were to order his return to the island state.

Mr Dean, of Edinburgh, was jailed in Taiwan for killing a man in a hit and run collision whilst driving drunk in 2010.

But the businessman jumped bail and came to Scotland claiming that he didn’t receive a fair trial. He also alleged that he was framed by corrupt police officers.

Now Mr Dean’s lawyers claim that inmates in Taiwanese jails are subjected to inhumane and degrading conditions.

They say it would be illegal to force Mr Dean to serve time there.

On Wednesday, judges Lady Paton, Lord Drummond Young and Lady Clark of Calton fixed a hearing to take place in September 2015.

The decision emerged from hearings which took place at the appeal court earlier this year.

In a written judgement, Lady Paton wrote: “For the reasons given above, we continue that part of the appeal relating to article three of the ECHR and prison conditions to Taiwan to an evidential hearing.

“We shall arrange a hearing to discuss procedural issues.”

The latest hearing is the latest development in a story which began with Dean being arrested in Scotland in October 2013.

Scottish prosecutors originally instigated proceedings at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in 2014 to have Dean extradited to Taiwan.

The Crown Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff had to enter into negotiations with the Taiwanese government as the two states did not have an extradition treaty.

At the sheriff court hearing, Sheriff Kenneth Maciver heard how Dean used make up and the passport of a white friend to flee the island in August 2012.

He then came to live at an exclusive property in the city’s new town before Scottish cops arrested him almost two years ago

Dean was arrested after knocking a paper boy off his scooter in Taipei in 2010.

The court heard that the newspaper delivery man later died from his injuries.

After the Supreme Court of Taiwan jailed Dean for four years for drink driving and negligent manslaughter, he left the island state using the passport of a friend.

Dean allegedly used make up to give himself the appearance of a white man which allowed him to bypass immigration checks.

Two people were later arrested and jailed for helping him flee the country.

Lawyers acting for Dean claim that he didn’t receive a fair trial in Taiwan and that their client was the victim of police corruption.

They also claimed Sheriff Maciver made mistakes when he ruled that Dean should be extradited. Advocate Mungo Bovey QC also argued that Dean’s human rights would be violated if he was forced to serve time in Taiwan.

On Wednesday, the appeal court judges ruled that they should hear evidence about the condition of Taiwanese jails.

The judges also ruled that Sheriff Maciver acted correctly in his earlier judgement.

In her judgement, Lady Paton wrote that she and her colleagues needed to know more about prison conditions in Taiwan.

She added: “In conclusion we shall continue the issue of article three and prison conditions (but no other issue) to an evidential hearing before the appeal court of three judges.

“We shall put the case out for a hearing to discuss procedural details.”

The exact date in September 2015 will be set at a later date.

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