Spain to expel suspected Somali pirates

17th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

Judicial sources say the two pirates will be put on trial quickly so they can be expelled to Somalia without serving time in Spain.

Madrid – Two suspected Somali pirates held in Spain over the seizure of a Spanish tuna trawler will be expelled to Somalia after a swift trial, judicial sources said Monday.

A judge on Monday formally charged the two with 36 counts of illegal detention and theft with violence and use of weapons, and ordered they be tried before the National Court.

The move responded to demands by prosecutors to have the two put on trial "as soon as possible".

Judicial sources quoted by Spanish media said the trial could take place within two weeks.

If they are condemned to a term of less than six years, under Spanish law they could be expelled to Somalia without serving any more time in Spain.

The two were captured and brought to Spain over their alleged role in the seizure of Spanish tuna trawler, the Alakrana, and its 36 crew members on 2 October.

Spanish troops monitoring the area off the Somali coast seized the two suspects shortly after they left the Alakrana on a small boat.

The kidnappers of the Alakrana are demanding the release of the two suspects as well as USD 4 million (EUR 2.6 million) in ransom.

Among the 36 crew being held are 16 Spaniards, eight Indonesians as well as others from Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Senegal and the Seychelles.

AFP / Expatica

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