Dutch to extradite Somali pirates to Germany

Suspected Somali pirates will be extradited to Germany to face criminal charges, a court in Amsterdam said.

Dutch to extradite Somali pirates to Germany

 

Suspected Somali pirates arrested by Dutch marines off the coast of Somalia two months ago will be extradited to Germany to face criminal charges, a court in Amsterdam said on Friday.

Germany had requested the extradition of the 10 Somalis, who were taken off a hijacked German commercial ship 500 nautical miles off the Somali coast in April and arrested after an exchange of gunfire between the Dutch frigate, the pirates, marines and a boarding helicopter.

"The court assumes that Germany has jurisdiction for the offence," the court said in a statement.

The suspects' lawyer, Michiel Balemans, had fought the extradition, saying there was no reason for Germany to take over the prosecution.

Separately, a Dutch court in Rotterdam began a trial last week against five Somalis accused of attacking and attempting to hijack the Samanyolu, a Dutch Antilles-flagged ship, while it was sailing in the Gulf of Aden in January 2009.

The ship's Turkish crew had fired signal flares at the Somali boat. Danish marines then rescued the Somalis and handed them over to Dutch authorities.

The five, who face a maximum of nine years in prison and 12 for their leader, denied the charges, saying that they had been fishing and had approached the Samanyolu for help when their boat was damaged, Dutch agency ANP reported.

In December, experts at a conference in The Hague said efforts to establish an international court to prosecute Somali pirates face complex laws governing the seas and national sovereignty as well as the lack of an effective police force.

Reuters

Last Mod: 05 Haziran 2010, 11:03
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