Somali pirates urge Dutch court to speed up trial
One alleged pirate says his family needs him to support them and seeks for trial to be carried out quickly.Rotterdam – Five alleged Somali pirates urged a Dutch judge Wednesday to speed up their trial following their arrest in January.
"I implore you to start the process soon," Ahmed Yussuf, 24, told the Rotterdam district court after their pre-trial detention was prolonged by three months.
"My children and my family have problems," said 44-year-old Jama Samatar. "I have three small children; there is nobody to help them. I am the sole breadwinner for my family."
The five Somalis, aged between 24 and 44, are the first to be prosecuted for piracy in the Netherlands.
Their high-speed power boat was intercepted by a Danish frigate in the Gulf of Aden on 2 January as they were allegedly preparing to board the Dutch Antilles-flagged Samanyolu.
The Netherlands issued European arrest warrants for the five on 21 January.
Held aboard a Danish naval vessel following their arrest, they were flown to the Netherlands on a military plane from the Gulf state of Bahrain on 10 February.
The men risk up to nine years in jail if found guilty, and their leader up to 12 years.
Prosecutors told the court that the investigation was nearly completed but that some members of the ship's crew still had to be questioned.
The trial is expected to start before the end of the year, lawyers said.
The court rejected the men's application to be freed.
AFP / Expatica