Wayne Walsh S.C. acted for the Commissioner of Correctional Services and the Government of the Republic of India (on instructions from the DOJ) and Simon Young acted for the fugitive Ramanjit Singh, who is wanted to stand trial in India for his role in financing an armed jailbreak and related offences, in the fugitive’s application for habeas corpus. By a judgment handed down on 25 August 2023 dismissing the application, Coleman J. held, inter alia, that the evidence adduced was insufficient to satisfy the burden on the applicant with regard to the discriminatory grounds provided by s.5(1)(c)-(d) of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance (Cap 503) to demonstrate the request for surrender was made for the purpose of prosecuting him on account of his Sikh religion and his political support for an independent state of Khalistan, or that he would be prejudiced at trial on account of those beliefs. Whilst agreeing with the applicant that he was entitled to a fair and public hearing in a suit at law under Article 10 of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights in the extradition proceedings, Coleman J. rejected an argument that the retraction of evidence by three key prosecution witnesses rendered their evidence worthless, noting that the evidence suggested they had been approached by one of the escapees in the jailbreak, a well-known gangster, to have them retract their evidence. The Court observed that extradition proceedings do not determine guilt or innocence, which is matter left for trial in the requesting state.
The judgment can be found here.