man who allegedly murdered his pregnant girlfriend while on holiday and inadvertently sparked Hong Kong’s worst political crisis in decades was released from prison on Wednesday.
Chan Tong-kai is suspected of murdering his girlfriend while the two were on vacation in Taiwan last February. He allegedly stuffed her body into a suitcase which he hid near a Taipei metro station before fleeing back to his home city of Hong Kong.
He was then arrested after withdrawing money from his girlfriend’s credit card and has spent the last 19 months in jail.
He has not been returned to Taiwan to face trial because Hong Kong and Taiwan have no extradition treaty. The Hong Kong government tried to fix this situation earlier this year by attempting to amend the law with a bill that would have allowed extradition to Taiwan, but also to mainland China as well.
The controversial bill spooked many Hongkongers and has led to more than 20 weeks of mass protests and unrest in the city. The Legislative Council finally formally withdraw the bill on Wednesday but that will likely do nothing to calm tensions at this point.
Meanwhile, upon his release from prison, Chan spoke to reporters, apologizing to his girlfriend’s family and declaring that he plans to fly to Taiwan to turn himself in so that they can have some closure.
That plan has been complicated, however, by Hong Kong rejecting Taiwan’s request to send officers to escort him on his journey, citing security concerns.
While it appeared that Chan would fly to Taiwan on Wednesday, Reverend Canon Peter Koon Ho-ming, a priest who helped to convince Chan to turn himself in and reportedly bought his plane ticket, said that the trip had been canceled because Chan is concerned about his personal safety and how Taiwanese authorities are “constantly changing their stance on the case.”