HONG KONG — Taiwan is pressing the Hong Kong authorities to intensify their investigation of the murder suspect whose case helped instigate the city’s ongoing protest movement, signaling a reluctance to intervene in a sensitive political issue.
The suspect, Chan Tong-kai, told the Hong Kong police that while on a Valentine’s Day trip to Taiwan last year with his girlfriend, Poon Hiu-wing, he strangled her, stuffed her body into a suitcase and hid it near a subway station in Taipei.
Mr. Chan, who is now in a Hong Kong prison on a money laundering conviction, has expressed a willingness to travel to Taiwan to give himself up after his impending release, which could come as early as next week, Sing Tao Daily, a Hong Kong newspaper, reported Friday.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice, however, called on the Hong Kong authorities to keep investigating Mr. Chan. In a statement Thursday, it noted that both the victim and the alleged killer were from Hong Kong and said other aspects of the crime may have happened in the city, including the planning of the killing.
Hong Kong does not have an extradition agreement with Taiwan. Its government cited Ms. Poon’s killing, and the obstacles to sending Mr. Chan to Taiwan, when it introduced legislation in February that would have allowed Hong Kong to send criminal suspects to places with which it does not have extradition treaties.
That set off huge protests because one such place is mainland China, where the murky judicial system is under the control of the Communist Party.
Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, said last month that she would withdraw the bill, but protests have continued over other issues, including demands to expand direct elections and to investigate the police’s use of force against demonstrators.
A march is planned in the Kowloon area of Hong Kong on Sunday to press for those demands, although the police have officially objected to it. Protesters also plan to call for a reorganization of the police force and an end to the ban on masks that Mrs. Lam recently enacted, using emergency powers, in an effort to tamp down the demonstrations.
In its statement Thursday, Taiwan said it would provide evidence in Mr. Chan’s case on a “foundation of equal status, dignity and mutual benefit.” Taiwan had previously said it would not agree to Mr. Chan’s extradition under the contentious legislation, on the grounds that the bill would have treated the self-governed island as a part of China.
Mr. Chan has been serving a 29-month sentence for money laundering because he took some of his girlfriend’s valuables and used her credit card upon returning to Hong Kong. With good behavior, his sentence will be shortened, and he is expected to be released as soon as Wednesday.