Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Case Opens in Italy

Nine Somali men appeared in a Roman court on 23rd March. They have been charged with piracy and the State is also alleging that the act of piracy was a fund-raising exercise for Al-Shabaab. This will be one of the first cases where the prosecution will try and prove links between so-called terrorist organisations and piracy. Their next court appearance will be on 15th May 2012.

The nine men were part of a group of fifteen arrested in October 2011 by British and US forces as part of a joint  NATO Ocean Shield operation. They are alleged to have hi-jacked the Italian vessel Montecristo. All fifteen people arrested were handed over to Italian custody and flown to Rome; after a police investigation two of the men were repatriated to Pakistan. Nine adults appeared in court on 23rd March and the remaining four people are juveniles and will be prosecuted in a juvenile court, their case begins on 2nd April.