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Mekong murder trial a model of regional judicial cooperation

By Cao Kai (Xinhua)

08:23, September 21, 2012

BEIJING, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Six foreigners suspected of murdering 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River went on trial at a Chinese local court Thursday, in a successful regional judicial cooperation among China and southeast Asian countries.

It is uncommon in China's judicial practice for foreigners who commit crimes against Chinese nationals outside this country to be brought to justice before a Chinese court.

Policemen and witnesses from Thailand and Laos will also be present during the trial in the intermediate court of Kunming in southwest China' s Yunnan Province, the first time foreign policemen will testify in a Chinese court.

That clearly shows the resolution of the governments of China, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos to jointly fight rampant crimes, including armed robberies and drug trafficking, in their border areas.

The crimes seriously affected the shipping safety along the Mekong River, originating from southwest China and one of the most important waterways in southeast Asia. After the murder on Oct. 5 last year, the shipping traffic along the river slumped 90 percent.

The trial of the notorious armed drug gang, including its "Godfather" Naw Kham, will not only console the families of the victims, but also will soothe the people living along the river who had been frequently robbed and blackmailed.

The trial will also demonstrate China's judicial work to the world, adding confidence to those countries who expect to enhance cooperation with China.

A previous police investigation found that Naw Kham, core members of the gang and a small number of Thai soldiers attacked, hijacked and finally murdered 13 Chinese sailors on two cargo ships, the Hua Ping and Yu Xing 8, on the Mekong River last October.

Armed drug trafficking gangs are the common enemies of mankind, and bringing them to justice is an obligatory task for all the governments concerned. Somali pirates are such kind of enemies.

It is widely acknowledged that international cooperation is an effective and crucial way to fight cross-border crimes.

Initiated by China, senior cabinet members from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand met in Beijing on Oct. 31 last year and agreed to take joint action to crack down on cross-border crime and secure transportation along the Mekong River.

Naw Kham was caught in a joint action by Chinese and Lao police earlier this year and was sent to China in May.

Union is strength. The trial of Naw Kham and his men has set a good example for regional judicial cooperation for the rest of the world. Most viewed commentaries

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