The government’s plea to extradite a man to China to face murder charges was delayed by New Zealand’s highest court on Friday, but it did not dismiss the request entirely, prolonging a court struggle that has gone on for over a decade.
The Supreme Court’s judgment came nearly two years after the Court of Appeal, citing human rights concerns, barred the extradition of Kyung Yup Kim, a New Zealand resident accused by China of killing a lady in Shanghai in December 2009.
Kim was detained in New Zealand for more than eight years, including five years in prison.
New Zealand, like many other Western countries, has no extradition treaty with China, therefore this is a first.
After seeking diplomatic guarantees on Kim’s care, a former Justice Minister twice ordered his extradition to China.
Kim’s extradition was blocked by the New Zealand Court of Appeal in June 2019, and the government was asked to reconsider its decision due to human rights concerns.