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24 Somali pirates sentenced to 7 years in prison in Kenya (Update)

(BRUSSELS2) 24 Somali pirates who stormed an Iranian ship in the Gulf in 2011 were sentenced on Thursday (23 January) by Judge Odenyo in Mombasa (Kenya) to 7 years in prison each.

beyond reasonable doubt

The prosecutor has proved the charges beyond a reasonable doubt estimated the judge, as reported by our Kenyan colleagues from the daily Nation. Among these proofs, the weapons found on board the ship (which) did belong to the defendants”. " Some were very young at the time « and didn't realize what they were doing pleaded their lawyer Jared Magolo. Moreover, the court, having some doubts about the age of the accused, " three times ordered an assessment of their age said the lawyer who has defended numerous pirates appearing before Kenyan courts.

A release that ended in blood

The ship - referred to as "Jelbut 24" by the anti-piracy forces, makes it the FV Ariya - had been captured and used as a mother ship by the pirates, then released on May 12, 2011 in the Gulf of Oman by the Danish ship "Esbern Snare" as part of NATO's anti-piracy operation (Ocean Shield). 4 pirates were killed during the assault and 10 others were seriously injured by gunshots, according to the B2 database (The offensive against the pirate motherships continues). One of them had to be amputated following a serious leg injury. The investigation conducted at the time by a Danish investigator had concluded, in July 2011, " in self-defence"Latest piracy news (July 31, 2011).

an acquittal

Note that other pirates suspected of having captured a fishing vessel in October 2010 were acquitted the same day by Judge Odenyo.

(Update) In Copenhagen, the Danish Defense Minister, Nicolai Wammen, welcomed this decision on 29 January. " The penalty is of great importance for the fight against piracy as a whole and justice in particular, especially for the sailors who have been hostage to pirates. I am very happy that the meticulous preparations of the Danish soldiers, in particular in the collection of proofs, finds there a result. »

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).