Taipei, A Filipino fisherman involved in a killing spree that led to the death of eight crew members aboard a Taiwanese fishing vessel early last year was given life imprisonment on Tuesday.
Aurelio Arafiles Fronda was convicted of homicide, attempted murder and abandonment of a body, the Pingtung District Court said in its ruling.
The incident took place aboard the Taiwanese longliner Wen Peng when it was operating in the Indian Ocean near Mauritius last February.
According to Pingtung prosecutors, the murders occurred after Fronda got into a heated argument with several members of the crew, of which 11 were Indonesian, 10 Filipinos and three Taiwanese, the latter three being the captain, chief engineer and observer.
He stabbed two of his Filipino counterparts to death, while the remaining crew members were forced to jump overboard for fear of their lives, the court document read.
Those who jumped overboard, including the three Taiwanese, were later rescued by another nearby Taiwanese fishing boat, although six others were never found and are now presumed dead, it said.
A Coast Guard Administration (CGA) vessel was subsequently deployed to the Wen Peng’s last known coordinates to help with the rescue mission and arrest the alleged assailant.
After concluding their investigation, prosecutors in July last year indicted Fronda on charges of homicide, recommending that he be handed a heavy sentence, as he showed no mercy during his murderous assaults.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel