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First conviction of pirates in Europe

(B2) This is indeed the first conviction by a European court of pirates... in ages. The Court of Rotterdam (Netherlands) thus condemned, Thursday 17, the 5 pirates who had attacked the Samanyolu, a ship flying the flag of the Antilles, to 5 years in prison. The suspects first claimed to be simple fishermen then that they did not want to attack a ship but were asking for help. The Dutch judges did not accept this argument and considered that there was a desire to attack the merchant ship. The Danish soldiers who intervened to stop the attack and arrested the 5 Somalis testified to this effect. The sentence is, however, slightly lower than what the public prosecutor requested. The judges, in fact, considered that the poor economic situation and their personal situation, and the fact that no evidence could link the accused to a piracy organization worked in their favor. Around thirty Somali pirates were repatriated to Europe: 15 to France, 2 to Spain and 8 to Germany and the 5 who have just been sentenced to the Netherlands.


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).