Hong Kong: the new dustbin for dictators?

Here’s a ripping piece from China Rises, a blog written by McClatchy’s Beijing bureau chief:

On Sunday, Hong Kong announced that Grace Mugabe would not be prosecuted for allegedly lacerating the face of a photographer on assignment for the Sunday Times of London with her diamond-encrusted ring. […] Hong Kong’s Department of Justice said Grace Mugabe would enjoy diplomatic immunity for any actions in Hong Kong. […] The Sunday Times also reported that the Mugabes may have recently bought a $5.5 million dwelling in Hong Kong. In cash.

Hong Kong is also one of the favored destinations of ousted Thai strongman Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin, a fugitive who recently was sentenced to two years in jail in Thailand for abuse of power, bought a home for about $6 million for his daughter Paetongtarn last November, the South China Morning Post has reported.

Is any of this illegal? Perhaps not. But if Hong Kong offers refuge to many more people of this sort, its reputation may take a beating.

Apparently Panama had this reputation back in the nineties, providing safe harbour for all sorts of unpleasant characters.

JRE hopes Singapore isn’t trying anything similar.

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