Dutch prosecutors demand jail for Somali pirate suspects

27th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Dutch prosecutors Wednesday demanded prison sentences of between seven to 10 years for five suspected Somali pirates, accused of kidnapping two South Africans off a yacht in the Seychelles last year.

"The heaviest sentence was demanded against their captain," Rotterdam public prosecutor's spokesman Wim de Bruin told AFP, after the men appeared before a tribunal in the southern Dutch port city.

De Bruin said prosecutors asked for an eight-year sentence for three other men and seven years for another.

The five are suspected of attacking the yacht Choizil on October 23 last year off the Seychelles, taking two of its crew hostage.

A third, the yacht's captain, managed to escape.

The two hostages were still being held in an unknown location by Somali pirates, De Bruin said.

Part of a group of 20 people picked up by a Dutch navy supply ship of the Somali coast in late November last year, the five were transferred to the Netherlands on December 5. Fifteen others were released due to a lack of evidence.

The pirates' captain faced up to 12 years in prison, while the four other crew members could get up to nine years.

De Bruin said judgement will be on August 12 as the Netherlands had "universal jurisdiction for piracy."

Five Somali pirates tried in the Netherlands last year, were sentenced to five years in prison by the Rotterdam court on June 17, 2010, for having attacked a Turkish freighter in the Gulf of Aden in early 2009.

© 2011 AFP

0 Comments To This Article