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Chinese plead not guilty to Philippine poaching charges

Published on May 21, 2014 4:16 PM
 
Arrested Chinese fishermen sit with other suspects on charges of illegal fishing while waiting for their arraignment at a court in Puerto Princesa in Palawan island on May 21, 2014. Nine Chinese fishermen arrested by Philippine authorities in disputed South China Sea waters pleaded not guilty to all charges against them on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, the prosecutor said. -- PHOTO: AFP

PUERTO PRINCESA, Philippines (AFP) - Nine Chinese fishermen arrested by Philippine authorities in disputed South China Sea waters pleaded not guilty to all charges against them on Wednesday, the prosecutor said.

The nine were taken in handcuffs to a court on the western island of Palawan, in a case that has further raised tensions over competing claims by the Philippines and China in the sea.

"The judge asked the guards to remove their handcuffs, then they read out the charges. They were asked if they understood the charges and asked individually if they were guilty. They said 'no'," prosecutor Allan Ross Rodriguez said.

After the brief proceedings, the nine were taken back to a local jail where they are expected to be detained until their next hearing next month.

 
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