Fri, April 13, 2012
China > China & World

Chinese fishermen to be released by Palau next Wednesday

2012-04-13 09:25:27 GMT2012-04-13 17:25:27(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

 

A detained Chinese fisherman walks out of a prison van in Palau, on April 13, 2012. Detained Chinese fishermen will go home next week, according to an out-of-court settlement with the Palau government, which was ratified by Palau justice on Friday afternoon. (Xinhua)by Fu Yunwei, Christian Edwards

 

KOROR, Palau, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Detained Chinese fishermen will go home next week under an out-of-court settlement with the Palau government, which was ratified by Palau justice on Friday.

Wen Zhencai, the Chinese counselor in charge of the issue, told Xinhua that he would be among a number of diplomats staying in Palau to ensure the smooth handover of the fishermen due to take place on Wednesday. Then the fishermen will leave Palau for home.

"The Chinese central and provincial governments are planning to dispatch (a plane) and we will be staying on until all Chinese nationals have been returned,"Wen said.

A Chinese fisherman was killed by Palau police in an incident involving suspected illegal fishing late last month. Another 25 sailors have been held in Palau since March 31. Palau marine officials claimed the killing was an accident.

The latest development will provide some relief for anxious families who have been awaiting the return of their beloved for two weeks.

According to officials, the fishermen conceded the misdemeanor of unlawful entry and the settlement involved a compensation payment to Palau side.

Palau hasn't established foreign relations with China, so the Chinese embassy in Micronesia, which is in charge of issues concerning Palau, had immediately launched an emergency response mechanism in the wake of the incident.

After days of diplomatic efforts, the release was eventually secured.

In an earlier interview with Xinhua, Palau President Johnson Toribiong expressed his regret and conveyed personal condolences to the family of the slain Chinese fisherman.

Toribiong said he hoped diplomacy and the judicial process would ensure a positive outcome.

"We like to promote good relations between Paula and the People's Republic of China, the most powerful Asian nation in our region, and we do not want this incident to undermine the good relationship. We wish to ensure the judicial process takes its full course in a fair and just manner and if possible look to resolve it in a diplomatic fashion." he said.

Chinese diplomats told Xinhua that those detained in Palau were in good health and provided with daily convenience.

Jennifer Koseklin-Gibbons, Chief Executive of Palau Chamber of Commerce, told Xinhua that illegal fishing has become a major problem in Palau waters.

Photo taken on April 10, 2012 shows the outside view of Palau Supreme Court. Detained Chinese fishermen will go home next week, according to an out-of-court settlement with the Palau government, which was ratified by Palau justice on Friday afternoon. (Xinhua)

Photo taken on April 13, 2012 shows detained Chinese fishermen in Palau. Detained Chinese fishermen will go home next week, according to an out-of-court settlement with the Palau government, which was ratified by Palau justice on Friday afternoon. (Xinhua)

Photo taken on April 10, 2012 shows the outside view of Palau prison. Detained Chinese fishermen will go home next week, according to an out-of-court settlement with the Palau government, which was ratified by Palau justice on Friday afternoon. (Xinhua)

 

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