Drink-driver who fled Taiwan for Capital wins extradition fight

Dean was caught at a property on Frederick Street. Picture: Contributed

Dean was caught at a property on Frederick Street. Picture: Contributed

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A DRINK-driver who fled Taiwan after being convicted of killing a man has won a human rights challenge which prevents him from being extradited there.

Zain Dean, 45, received a four-year sentence from judges on the Asian island in 2010 for killing a newspaper vendor in a hit-and-run collision whilst driving drunk.

Dean had fled Taiwan and was living at a property on Frederick Street. Picture: Contributed

Dean had fled Taiwan and was living at a property on Frederick Street. Picture: Contributed

The businessman used make-up to disguise himself from Taiwanese immigration officials. He also used the passport of a white friend to abscond in August 2012 and eventually moved into a New Town flat before changing his name to Callum Rafael Scott.

Detectives arrested Dean at the property in Frederick Street in October 2013 after British authorities conducted high-level negotiations with their Taiwanese counterparts.

It was the first time in Taiwan’s history that they had attempted to extradite someone to their state. The arrangement negotiated between the UK and Taiwan only covered the extradition of Dean.

The Taiwanese authorities agreed to carry out special measures at the jail which would house Dean. The Taiwanese thought such measures would address concerns that Dean would be housed in inhumane conditions.

When journalists in Taiwan learned of these measures, they compared the size of the British man’s cell to one which housed a former Taiwanese president who was serving time for corruption. Dean had the bigger cell.

However, despite this, Dean fought against the extradition bid.

His legal team argued at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh that sending him back to Taiwan would contravene article three of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The clause prohibits the torture and “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” of individuals.

His lawyers said that prison conditions in Taiwan were poor and that Dean was at threat of being attacked by prisoners who would be jealous of his special privileges.

Judges Lady Paton and Lady Clark of Calton ruled that Dean should not be sent back to Taiwan because prison conditions there violate article three. Judge Lord Drummond Young disagreed and said his understanding of the law meant Dean should be returned to Asia.

Lord Drummond Young was overruled and Dean was told he wouldn’t be extradited.

Prosecutors now want to appeal the decision of the appeal court at the UK Supreme Court in London.

The appeal judges told Dean, who faces a further extradition request over absconding from Taiwan, that they would be prepared to grant him bail.

He offered a bail address on Frederick Street. He was told that he would have to report weekly to a police station.

newsen@edinburghnews.com

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