Eight Indonesian fishermen indicted for manslaughter


Prosecutors in Taiwan indicted eight Indonesian fishermen Wednesday on charges of manslaughter in a July incident that allegedly left the Taiwanese captain and chief engineer of a fishing boat dead.

The indictment said that the 98-tonne deep-sea fishing boat Te Hung Hsing No. 368 was operating in waters in the east Pacific July 15 when captain Chen Te-sheng got into an argument with Indonesian fisherman on board that reportedly led to the deaths of the captain and his chief engineer Ho Chang-lin.

Prosecutors alleged that the fisherman responsible for the killing said, “I just assaulted the captain, now the chief engineer is your responsibility.” Ho was apparently grabbed while sleeping and thrown overboard.

Prosecutors said Ho had tried to cling to a railing on the side of the boat but was mercilessly kicked away.

The Taiwanese boat had set out from Nanfangao in Yilan county for waters in the eastern Pacific with the captain, chief engineer and nine Indonesian fishermen aboard.

The ship’s owner last communicated with its crew on July 15 when it was operating around 527 nautical miles northwest of French Polynesia.

The Coast Guard Administration later dispatched a ship to search for the missing boat and boarded it July 27 to find no sign of Chen or Ho. They suspected the Indonesian crew of foul play.

The coast guard then escorted the boat and returned to Taiwan Aug. 20 after a 24-day, 4,870-nautical-mile journey.

The nine Indonesian fishermen were turned over to the Yilan District Prosecutors Office for further investigation. Only one escaped charges.






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