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Taiwan and Philippines reach consensus on investigation

Investigative teams could soon be exchanged: Ministry of Justice

Taiwan and Philippines reach consensus on investigation

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan and the Philippines have reached a consensus that investigators will not conduct direct interviews of suspects and witnesses, the Ministry of Justice said Thursday.
The agreement could mean that teams of investigators will soon visit the other country, reports said. A first trip by 17 Taiwanese investigators to Manila last week faltered after local officials refused to meet them. The Philippines wanted to send a team to Taiwan earlier this week, but the MOJ turned it down because Manila had rejected most of its requests.
Talks in Manila Thursday resulted in an agreement that any interviews would be conducted indirectly, Justice Vice Minister Chen Ming-tang told reporters. The Taiwanese team could leave for the Philippines even on Saturday or on Sunday if it was necessary, he said.
Manila had reportedly accepted the refusal by the family of fisherman Hung Shih-cheng, whose death on May 9 led to the current impasse, to have a new post-mortem conducted on his body.
The Philippines had agreed to Taiwanese investigators boarding the government vessel involved in the shooting of Hung and looking at the guns involved, but other demands were still under negotiation, Chen said.
Taiwan has called on Manila to show a video recording of the incident, but the Philippines has refused so far, leading the MOJ to question the authenticity of the disc.
Manila has claimed that agents on board a Philippine government vessel opened fire in self-defense when Hung’s fishing trawler, the Kuang Ta Hsing No.28, tried to ram it during fishing in off-limits territorial waters.
Taiwan has accused the Philippines of attempted homicide because Hung was unarmed and working in an area where Exclusive Economic Zones of both countries overlap.
On Tuesday, the Council of Agriculture’s Fisheries Agency presented the ship’s Voyage Data Recorder, which showed that it had never been fishing in Philippine territorial waters.


Updated : 2021-07-26 09:55 GMT+08:00