Taiwanese crew to testify in Manila over shooting
CNAMANILA -- The three surviving crew members of a Taiwanese fishing boat that was attacked by a Philippine patrol vessel in May arrived in Manila on Sunday to give testimony on the death of their colleague in the attack.
September 9, 2013, 4:12 pm TWN
The three crew members — Hung Yu-chih, Hung Chieh-shang and Indonesian worker Imam Buchaeri — were summoned by the Philippine government to testify at an investigative hearing on the case, said Chen Feng-fu, a lawyer who is accompanying the group.
In the May 9 incident, Philippine Coast Guard personnel fired on Hung's boat while it was operating in water where the two countries' exclusive economic zones overlap, leaving dead Hung's father, Hung Shih-cheng.
After investigating the attack, the Philippines' National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Aug. 7 recommended homicide charges for eight Coast Guard members involved in the shooting.
The Philippines Department of Justice then assembled a special team of prosecutors to handle the case.
The prosecutors are holding investigative hearings to help determine if they follow the NBI's recommendations and indict the suspects, and the testimony of the three crewmen in their capacity as witnesses and victims is a necessary part of the process.
Chen said the crew members would respect Philippine judicial procedures and would appear at the hearing on Monday afternoon to confirm that the testimony they gave in Taiwan was accurate and that it was given of their own volition.
Had they failed to show up, it could have led to a delay in the proceedings since prosecutors would have had to reschedule the questioning sessions.
The team of prosecutors will decide whether to indict the Coast Guard suspects within 60 days after collecting all the evidence and testimony related to the case.