Macau and Hong Kong to sign juridical assistance agreement

Macau and Hong Kong are set to sign an agreement on mutual juridical assistance early next year, the Hong Kong Secretary for Justice Rimksy Yuen Kwok-keung said yesterday during the 15th anniversary of the Macau Public Prosecutor’s Office’s academic symposium.
“What remains to be processed are some written descriptions. The legal systems of Macau and Hong Kong are different. We hope to avoid some uncertain areas in some legal concepts”, Mr. Yuen said on the sidelines of the event.
During the event, the Prosecutor General of Macau, Ho Chio Meng, explained that such an agreement would resolve the problem of enacting a sentence in one SAR after it had been delivered in the other Special Administrative Region.
In March, Hong Kong businessmen Joseph Lau and Steven Lo were sentenced by a Macau court to more than five years in prison for corruption. However, it was reported that they are unlikely to spend any time behind bars because Macau does not have an extradition treaty with Hong Kong.
When asked if a Hong Kong court could carry out this sentence based on the upcoming agreement, Ho Chio Meng only said that it includes mutual recognition of court sentences and either side’s obligation to implement them.
“I don’t give examples of concrete cases.  However, the agreement itself solves the confirmation of the behaviour after the crime is committed in the two regions, as well as the implementation of the sentencing. Problems in this area would be solved,” he said.
Three principles in juridical cooperation were emphasised by Ho Chio Meng – implementation according to the laws of the local region, focusing on efficiency during the cooperation, and protecting the legal interests of each party.