30 years in prison for Chinese fisherman who killed South Korean coast guard
Chinese fishing boats encounter a South Korean coast guard boat while in the Yellow Sea in December 2010.
April 19th, 2012
04:17 AM ET

30 years in prison for Chinese fisherman who killed South Korean coast guard

A South Korean court on Thursday sentenced the captain of a Chinese fishing boat to 30 years in prison for murdering a South Korean coast guard officer during a confrontation in the Yellow Sea last year.

The court in the port of Incheon also handed down prison terms to several other crew members of the Chinese vessel, which the South Korean coast guard officials boarded on December 12 because they suspected it of fishing illegally.

The skipper of the fishing boat, Cheng Dawei, was convicted of stabbing the coast guard officer, Lee Cheng-ho, several times with a knife. Lee later died of his injuries and another coast guard official was wounded in the encounter.

Prosecutors had sought the death penalty for Cheng, 43, but the court chose to give him a lengthy prison term and a fine of 20 million won, or about $17,500.

Nine other Chinese sailors received sentences of one and a half to five years for their roles in the clash, according to Judge Rho Jong-chan, a spokesman for the court.

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Filed under: China • South Korea
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Chinaman

    Why American criminals in Iraq and Afghanistan go home for justice? Why so different than everyones else's justice? Lucky for chinamen convicted. If go home they get death sentence for sure. In China, even writing a hot check (fraud) can see you dead, executed for defrauding neighbor and country. American justice slow like worm in mud.

    April 19, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • JerseyJeff

      American soldiers in Afghanistan are not tried there because of an agreement made between our 2 governments. If Afghanistan wanted US and NATO troops in country, they had to agree that soldiers would be tried under the military's jurisdiction. If Afghanistan did not want to lose that control, they should not have agreed to the terms and our soldiers would be home by now. This was the same in Iraq and when Iraq would not renew the agreement, all combat soldiers left Iraq.

      April 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • ASEAN

      ATTENTION! all the Chinese fishermen! Pls stay away from the Yellow Sea! Pls go fishing in the SOUTH CHINA SEA..all of you will be protected by the Chinese coast guards or Navy. Because P.R.China is claiming the entire Sea regardless what those small powerless countries that border it. Now Go fishing in South China Sea....it is ours.

      April 20, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  2. Chinaman

    Like how slow Tray Von vs. The Zimmer Man case go. After many weeks still haven't even found judge to take case. Vewy vewy crude and slow like sloth in quicksand.

    April 19, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  3. Chinaman

    "Slow Justice is no justice"-ancient proverb.

    April 19, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Good Morning, Philip


      April 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • JerseyJeff

      We have an old saying too. "Those who live in glass houses, shouldn't throw stones"

      You cannot criticize the American judicial system or compare it to China, which does not have internationally respected and credible judicial system that is infamous for being rushed, convicting the innocent, allowing well-connected guilty go and not respecting the right to a fair trial.

      April 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Chinaman

    @Ignorant One and all. More Chinese have checking accounts than Americans do. Imagine if check fraud carry death sentence in USA. Stench stink up whole earth. American justice bog down even more, explaining why American laws so lax and change to allow bad behavior even more. If abortion was still illegal, 50,000,000 Americans already would be executed. (50M. The total number of legal abortions up to 2006)

    April 19, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • JerseyJeff

      You misunderstand how law and the legal process works in democratic nations.
      The legal system is slow, methodical and very thorough. A lot of time is taken to build a case and prepare a defence. The idea is, that each case shows all evidence and the defendant has all opportunities to defend one's self. The idea is, everybody is innocent until PROVEN guilty, this means the burden is on the government to make a case to prove, within reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty. It might look slow from the outside, but the idea is to be thorough and give every person the right to mount a proper defence of themselves.

      April 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JerseyJeff

    Why didn't he get life?

    April 19, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. Chinaman

    @JeseyJeff. You very funny man. Why you not even have judge for zimmerman case? You point finger at swift justice bringing 30 years reaping what was sown, while own justice execute wrong man or allow mother to abort own baby. It take your justice system many many decades to finally decide abortion ok, and still Americans divided over issue. Maybe by 3012 Americans make up mind. Why Americans think so slow?

    April 19, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • JerseyJeff

      I lived and worked in Haining. I have seen Chinese idea of "justice" and I can honestly say, I think China has a long long way to go before they have a credible judicial system and a legal and law enforcement system that respects individual rights. It will happen because eventually there is a wall that will form that will slow economic growth without a proper and credible legal system, but while China's economy is still industrial based, I don't see it happening.

      April 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JerseyJeff


    Actually, I do wish he was sent back to China to be tried. China would have kneeled him down and put a bullet in his head and sent the bill for the bullet back to the family.
    The fisherman murdered a man doing his job and if he just went along, would be back in China by now. He embarrassed China and put China in bad position when there are territory disputes going on. He hurt China's image.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. **cosmicVox *

    ... Bravo JerseyJeff, well said.

    April 20, 2012 at 4:38 am | Report abuse |
  9. Thomas Cotese

    Why south korea put him 30 years ? To feed him ? 30 years to eat A LOT MONEY . WHY ? FREE ?

    May 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |