Sat, Jun 08, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Investigators reach initial consensus on PCG incident

Staff writer, with CNA

Investigators from Taiwan and the Philippines have reached a preliminary consensus on their respective investigations into the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel last month, the Ministry of Justice said yesterday.

A group of Taiwanese investigators, led by Yang Wan-li (楊婉莉), head prosecutor of the ministry’s International and Cross-Strait Department, left for Manila on Thursday to share the results of their investigation with the Philippine authorities, a ministry official said.

After nearly six hours of closed-door discussions on Thursday, the two sides reached an initial consensus on certain points, the official said in Taipei, without divulging any details.

He said discussions were continuing yesterday morning, adding that if everything went smoothly, the team would return to Taiwan.

In the Philippines, Yang also refused to reveal the points covered in the meetings.

“We are here to compare the evidence. And because the meeting is still in process, I am not in the position to speak,” Yang was quoted as saying in a GMA News article posted online yesterday morning.

Virgilio Mendez, deputy director of the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation, identified on Thursday one discrepancy that was cleared up: the number of guns used in the attack. He said the Taiwanese team thought that 22 guns were used, but the actual number was determined to be 15 after clarification by the Philippine team.

Philippine Secretary of Justice Leila de Lima said in Manila on Wednesday that investigators from Taiwan and the Philippines would meet before formally unveiling the findings of their respective investigations into the death of 65-year-old Hung Shih-cheng (洪石成).

Hung’s fishing boat, the Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28, was sprayed with bullets on May 9 in overlapping waters of the two countries’ economic zones, sparking an ongoing diplomatic rift.

The Taiwanese team’s visit to Manila is expected to help prevent a major divergence in the conclusions reached by the two sides.

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