In the following analysis, we will examine the release of Siu Yee Lam, a Chinese citizen, following the absence of an extradition request from Chinese authorities. This case raises important legal and political questions concerning the relationship between Italy and China.
Arrest and Charges Against Siu Yee Lam
Siu Yee Lam, hailing from the Guangdong province, was arrested in Italy on September 13th based on an extradition warrant issued by Chinese authorities on June 11th, 2021. The charges against Lam pertain to commercial fraud, but his lawyers argue that he may also be considered an opponent to the reunification of Hong Kong with China.
The 2010 Extradition Treaty between Italy and China
Siu Yee Lam’s case draws attention to the 2010 Extradition Treaty between Italy and China. Under this treaty, Chinese authorities were obligated to submit a formal extradition request within thirty days of Lam’s provisional arrest. However, such a request was never made.
Release of Siu Yee Lam and His Options
Following the absence of an extradition request from China, the IV Criminal Section of the Court of Appeals in Rome, presided over by Francesco Neri, ordered the release of Siu Yee Lam. Now, the Chinese citizen has several options available to him. His lawyers have announced that he might seek political asylum from Italian authorities, citing Lam’s claims of alleged torture in China as valid grounds for such a request.
This case raises significant questions about the relationship between Italy and China, compliance with international treaties, and human rights. It will be interesting to see how the situation unfolds and how Siu Yee Lam’s future requests are handled.