CHINESE FISHERMAN DETAINED IN PALAU SET FOR RELEASE

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Judge reportedly approves out-of-court settlement

By Shaun Bevan

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, April 12, 2012) – China says that 25 Chinese fishermen who were detained and charged with illegal fishing around Palau waters soon will return home, according to The Associated Press.

Quoting from the Xinhua News Agency, the AP reported that a Palau judge has approved an out-of-court settlement that will release the men on Wednesday.

The fishermen were detained March 31 after Palau authorities fired shots at one of two Chinese fishing vessels caught fishing in Palau's waters, killing one crew member.

Palau President Johnson Toribiong met with representatives from the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Federated States of Micronesia days after the incident in hopes of smoothing over ties with China, according to Pacific Daily News files.

Disappearance

The confrontation over Palau waters also led to the disappearance of an American pilot and two Palau police officers who were dispatched aboard a small airplane to track one of the Chinese fishing boats. The U.S. Coast Guard and Palau authorities spent several days searching for the missing plane and its passengers but were unsuccessful. The search was suspended by all parties last week.

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