Seychelles Court Convicts Nine Somali Pirates

Nine Somalis have been convicted for piracy by the Seychelles Supreme Court, Seychelles News Agency reports.

The group have been found guilty of attack on the high seas against a Hong-Kong flagged vessel M/V Zhongji No. 1 on November 6, 2013, an attempt to hijack a Danish ship Torm Kansas in the Indian Ocean on November 10, 2013 as well as for making use of a whaler as a pirate ship.

NATO’s counter-piracy Operation Ocean Shield warship HDMS Esbern Snare apprehended the suspects after the attempted hijacking of Torm Kansas.

The suspects, eight adults and one juvenile, were handed over to the Seychelles authorities on November 30, 2013 by the Danish Navy ship.

The eight adults from the group have been sentenced to 14 years in prison on all three counts while the juvenile was given a three-year sentence on each count of piracy, the news agency informed.  The time they had already spent in detention would be deducted from their sentences.

Prior to the ruling of the Seychelles court, a Danish court ordered compensation to the nine Somalis, 19,600 Danish crowns (USD 3,247) each, for being detained too long before being brought before a judge, as they had spent 13 days in detainment.

Under Danish law, a person must to be brought before a judge within 24 hours.

World Maritime News Staff; Image: NATO