Somali 'pirates' tell Spanish court they were kidnapped

3rd February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Two Somali men on trial in Spain over the hijacking of a Spanish fishing boat said Thursday that they themselves had been kidnapped and forced onto the trawler, court sources said.

Pirates seized the Alakrana tuna trawler and its crew of 36 in October, 2009 off the coast of Somalia.

Abdou Willy and Raagegeesey Adji Hamanwere were detained by Spanish marines as they left the captured trawler two days after the hijacking. They were then flown to Spain where they have been held at a Madrid jail.

At the start of their trial Thursday, the two said they had been fishing in the area and were themselves seized by the pirates, the sources said.

They said the pirates blindfolded them, forced them onto the Alakrana and then gave them loaded guns.

"I did not threaten anyone, I was kidnapped," Abdou Willy told the court.

One of the Alakrana crew testified last week that the two were part of the gang that seized the boat.

The Alakrana and its crew were released 47 days after the capture.

The pirates who seized the boat said they received a ransom of four million dollars but the Spanish government has refused to either confirm or deny their claim.

Spain's National Court argues it is competent to try the two because the alleged crimes took place on board a Spanish vessel.

Spanish public prosecutors have called prison sentences of up to 220 years for the two Somalis.

© 2011 AFP

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