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Montevideo, December 18th 2018 - 21:39 UTC

Chilean Fishermen Free to Return Home

Tuesday, May 18th 2004 - 21:00 UTC
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A third application to the Supreme Court of Western Australia has seen a Chilean fishermen arrested aboard the fishing vessel Viarsa 1 allowed to return home before he faces trial in October.

The full bench of the Supreme Court of Western Australia heard lengthy arguments from a lawyer for the five employees of Navalmar SA over three separate bail applications since October last year.

It was argued that Guerrero was charged as part of a step up in demand for prosecutions by the Australian parliament for fishermen who operate illegal fishing vessels or conduct illegal fishing in Australian waters.

Crown prosecutors had argued that Guerrero was involved with the three senior officers and skipper of the Viarsa 1 in undertaking anti-boarding techniques when it was apprehended in the Southern Ocean last August by Australian and South African fisheries officers.

Not listed for trial until October of this year, Guerrero was the first of the recent spate of crewmen arrested aboard toothfish boats in the Southern Ocean to be charged under the Australian Fisheries Management Act.

Following the apprehension of the Viarsa 1, crew found aboard fishing boats have been charged as well as senior officers.

Phillip Laskaris for Guerrero and the senior officers of the Viarsa 1 told the court in application that it was not in the best interest of the men, or their employer controversial company Navalmar SA - to avoid trial.

Mr Laskaris said if the men were acquitted later this year: "Navalma's position will be greatly strengthened."

By Peter Collins - Australia

Categories: Falkland Islands.

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