Twelve Vietnamese on trial for illegal fishing
Tanjungpinang (ANTARA News) - Twelve Vietnamese citizens are currently being tried in the Tanjungpinang District Court for illegal fishing in Indonesian waters, a court official said.
The 12 Vietnamese men were the skippers of fishing boats caught at almost the same time while operating without the necessary permits in the Ranai Exclusive Economic Zone in Natuna District, Rahel Y, a clerk at the court, said Wednesday.
"They are being tried in 12 separate cases with each case being handled by one panel of judges," she said.
The members of the boats` crews were serving as witnesses but part of them have already been deported, she said, adding that law enforcers had confiscated trawls -- banned in Indonesian fisheries law -- from their boats.
Meanwhile, six other Vietnamese -- close relatives of some of the Vietnamese fishermen -- arrived in Pangkalpinang to visit the prisoners who have been held in a local jail since December 23, 2007.
The six visitors had already obtained permission from the head of the Tanjungpinang court to see their relatives in prison. (*) END