TAIPEI, Taiwan - Gong Tai-an (龔泰安), the captain of the fishing boat Jin-Qing No.12 involved in the killing of 13 of his crewmembers 15 years ago, was sentenced to 10 years behind bars by the Supreme Court yesterday after serving 13 years in Mauritius for the same crime.
The Supreme Court supports the ruling of the Kaohsiung Branch Court which sentenced Gong to life imprisonment for murder and said it was in accordance with international law. However, Gong's earlier Mauritian sentence reduced his jail term from 20 to 10 years. Since he has served time overseas, Taiwan's judiciary shortened his sentence by 10 years.
The court pointed out that Gong, as the captain of his vessel in 1999, had a dispute with a Chinese crewmember, surnamed Yang, and killed him with a pistol in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Gong also killed another three crewmembers when they approached him, according to local press.
Local media said Gong then killed the ship's cook before murdering another four members in the gangway. The four remaining crewmembers feared getting killed and jumped into the ocean, and their whereabouts remain unknown to this day, said the press.
Gong is responsible for the death of a total of 13 crewmembers under his command, the court said.
The court also said that Gong was emotionally unstable during the commission of his acts. According to local press, Gong has not yet reconciled with the victims' families and has been found guilty.