Wednesday, January 2, 2013

More 'Pirates' Tried

In the last months of 2012, six Somali men were taken to Spain to be tried on charges of piracy. The six were captured by the flagship of Operation OceanShield after allegedly trying to cease a Spanish tuna fishing vessel in the last weeks of October.

Two Somali men accused of piracy have already been found guilty in Spain and each received sentences of 439 years in a courtcase in May 2011.

In Malaysia, seven Somali men facing charges that carried the death penalty have been offered a plea bargain. The men were arrested in January 2011 and charged with 'firing at the Malaysian armed forces while committing a robbery' - an offence that carries the death penalty. The men have been given the option of pleading guilty to the lesser charge of 'using a weapon with the intention of preventing their arrest', a charge that carries 'only' a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.

In the Seychelles three men were sentenced to 21 years each and a fourth to 14 years on piracy charges. The men were arrested by a Danish warship after they allegedly held an Iranian ship. Denmark has an agreement with both Kenya and the Seychelles that allows pirates arrested by Danish forces to be tried in either of those countries.

In Madagascar, thirteen men and one youth who were arrested in March 2011 appeared in court in November 2012 and the men received sentences of five years hard labour, the young person was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment and released on bail.