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MOFA chief urges trial over Philippine sea shooting

TAIPEI -- Prosecutors in the Philippines should prosecute the Philippine coast guard personnel involved in the death of a Taiwanese fisherman as soon as possible, Foreign Minister David Lin said Wednesday.

Completing the prosecution of the eight coast guard officers “is a top priority issue,” Lin said, adding that Taiwan currently has no plans to seek their extradition to Taiwan.

Lin's remarks came in response to questions on whether Taiwan will ask the Philippines to extradite the killers to Taiwan, following reports earlier in the day that the Pingtung District Court issued a wanted list containing the names of the eight coast guard officers in late February.

Hung Shih-cheng, a fisherman aboard the Taiwanese boat Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28, was killed last May when the Filipinos sprayed his boat with bullets in an area where the two countries' exclusive economic zones overlap.

The May 9, 2013 incident sparked anger across Taiwan, prompting the government to impose retaliatory measures, including a freeze on the hiring of Filipino workers in Taiwan, a travel alert discouraging Taiwanese nationals from visiting the Philippines and suspending most exchange activities.

In August, the Philippines finally released the result of its National Bureau of Investigation's (NBI's) inquiry into the incident, which recommended homicide charges be brought against the eight men involved in the shooting and sanctions imposed against four others for allegedly trying to tamper with the evidence.

Taiwan subsequently lifted its sanctions against the Philippines and issued a statement announcing that relations between the two countries have been normalized.

Following Hung's death, the Pingtung District Prosecutors Office also launched an investigation into the incident and filed homicide charges against the perpetrators.

March 14, 2014    piawliangjohny@
The family received huge amount for the wrong doings of Philippine citizen... case dismissed...of course those arrogant soldiers should be punished harshly to prevent future mistakes again... The Philippine government should prosecute those criminals in the Philippines not in Taiwan but the Taiwanese prosecutors should be there to watch it done as we all know corruption in Philippines is well known around the world.
March 15, 2014    ludahai_twn@
Any prosecution must proceed in accordance with the law. The presidential office in the Philippines is not legally authorized to make that decision. This is up to prosecutors.

As for Taiwan, it has absolutely zero jurisdiction in this case, so any attempt at extradition will be a failure. The fisherman should have stayed on the Taiwanese side of the median line. The use of force was excessive, but did it actually violate the law?
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