(BRUSSELS2) The German frigate Rheinland-Pfalz patrolling the Gulf of Aden as part of operation EUNAVFOR Atalanta foiled a pirate attack and arrested 9 suspects. The Bundeswehr tells “It was 7:12 a.m. when the frigate received an emergency call from the freighter MV Courier flying the flag of Antigua and Barbuda but belonging to the German shipowner Brothers Winter. This was about 50 miles from the German warship. A Sea Lynx type helicopter was then dispatched to the scene, as well as an American helicopter from the USS Monterey (of CTF-151) which was also in the vicinity.The warning shots made it possible to stop the attack. hours later, at around 9 a.m., the Rheinland-Pfalz was near the merchant ship and took the pirates on board. The evidence was saved." Essential point when we know that it is for lack of proof that nine pirates apprehended by the u.s. navy were recently released. “The suspects are questioned. The decision on the further procedure will be taken at government level,” says one in Berlin at the HQ of the Navy.
(Updated March 5) The Hamburg public prosecutor's office has opened an investigation. This could suggest that the pirates could be repatriated for trial in Germany (if the flag is foreign, the owner of the MV Courrier is indeed German. But, at the same time, the federal government is intensely examining the transfer of criminal proceedings to a State third party," it was explained in Berlin.