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Taiwanese officials assisting Philippines in fisherman case
Central News Agency
2014-09-01 09:51 PM
Manila, Sept. 1 (CNA) Three Taiwanese judicial officials attended a preliminary conference Monday in the Philippines to assist Filipino prosecutors in a court case on the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by Philippine Coast Guard officers last year. Hung Pei-chi, who represents Taiwan's Ministry of Justice; Chief Prosecutor Lin Yen-liang; and Prosecutor Tseng Shih-che attended the court proceedings that opened Monday in Basco, capital of Batanes Province, and will continue until Tuesday. Batanes, located on the northernmost tip of the Philippines some 860 kilometers from Manila, is accessible only by air via two flights per week. The three officials were invited by the Filipino court to provide evidence and documents pertaining to the fisherman Hung Shih-cheng's death. Hung was shot dead aboard the Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28 fishing boat in an overlapping economic marine zone between Taiwan and the Philippines. Eight members of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) were indicted on homicide charges and two of them were also charged with obstruction of justice. In previous court hearings on the matter, the defendants have pleaded not guilty and have questioned the validity of the autopsy report on Hung's death. According to Philippine prosecutors, a pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Oct. 6-7 After the shooting incident on May 9 last year, Taiwan demanded that the Philippines formally apologize, punish those responsible, compensate the victim's family and hold bilateral fishery talks to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents in the future. Bilateral ties were stalemated following the incident, with Taipei imposing a series of sanctions against Manila. But relations thawed when Manila began to respond positively to Taiwan's demands. (By Emerson Lim and Lilian Wu)
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