New Town resident fights Taiwan extradition bid

Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Chambers Street
Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Chambers Street
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A DRINK driver who fled to Edinburgh from Taiwan after being jailed for killing a paper boy in a hit and run collision is fighting legal attempts to have him returned there.

Lawyers acting for Zain Dean, 32, claim that the Indian born businessman was arrested by corrupt policemen when he was detained for the 2010 death of a newspaper vendor.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court 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.

Now Dean, who was arrested in Frederick Street, Edinburgh, in October 2013, is resisting attempts to extradite him to Taiwan.

His legal team claim that it would be a breach of his human rights to return him to the island, claiming he didn’t receive a fair trial when he was convicted for drink driving.

They also cite concerns about prison conditions in Taiwan and say that there is a problem with corruption among police officers there.

The story emerged following a hearing before Sheriff Kenneth Maciver at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today.

Legal sources say the action is “unprecedented” as there isn’t a formal extradition treaty or diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Taiwan.

It is understood that there have been high level negotiations between representatives of the British and Taiwanese governments to bring the matter to court.

Earlier this year, Sheriff Maciver heard how Dean, who is a British citizen, 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, he was able to flee the island state using the passport of a friend.

Dean, an ethnic Indian, is also said to have used make up to give himself the appearance of a white man which allowed him to leave the country.

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

Prosecutors say Dean then settled in Edinburgh and lived in the Scottish capital for over a year before he was eventually arrested in October last year.

Since being arrested, Dean has made six applications for bail - but has been refused on each occasion.

On Friday, defence advocate Niall McCluskey told Sheriff Maciver that he wanted to lead evidence at a future date which would help his client’s case.

Sheriff Maciver fixed a procedural hearing on March 12, 2014. A further hearing, in which evidence will be led, will take place on April 28, 2014.