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Pirates Given 21-Year Sentences in Seychelles Court

Maritime Executive
Thursday, November 29, 2012

Seychelles police have reported that three Somalis that were being held, were tried in court and sentenced to 21 years in prison each for pirate activity.  A fourth Somali was sentenced to 14 years.

The four Somalis were placed in Seychelles custody on the 28 January this year when they were detained and arrested outside Seychelles territory by a Danish warship, HMS Absalon, after the suspected pirates attacked an Iranian vessel named, Jelbut 40, taking the 14 crew hostage.

The operation conducted by the Danish warship Absalon against pirates off the coast of Somalia freed 14 Iranian and Pakistani hostages, which resulted in investigators working to determine what should happen next, commented the Copenhagen Post.

On 7 January, the Absalon, which was part of a NATO-led anti-piracy operation, pursued a craft it suspected of being a pirate mother ship off the Somali coast in the Indian Ocean. The pirates surrendered after a three-hour standoff, during which time the Absalon fired warning shots and instructed the pirates to surrender.

Earlier reports had indicated that the Iranian fishing boat was captured two months previously and that the 14 sailors onboard had been held captive since then.

At the time, the captured pirates could not be prosecuted under Danish law, but Denmark had agreements with Kenya and the Republic of Seychelles that would allow for the pirates to be tried in those countries.

The four Somali pirates were sentenced in the Seychelles Court on Monday, 26 November.


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