Somali pirate suspects appear in Dutch court

18th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

A Rotterdam court will decide if the five suspected Somali pirates could be held in pre-trial detention for another three months.

The Hague – Five suspected Somali pirates appeared in a Rotterdam court on Monday to decide whether to continue their detention pending trial for allegedly trying to hijack a Dutch cargo ship in January.

The five, the first to be pursued for piracy in the Netherlands, greeted journalists with a hand gesture as they entered the courtroom.

Authorities are seeking to hold them in pre-trial detention for another three months.

The men's high-speed powerboat 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 on 21 January European arrest warrants for the five, whose ages are believed to range from 24 to 38.

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.

According to the, their lawyer Willem-Jan Ausma said his clients are pleased to be in the Netherlands and feel they are in a safe environment.

AFP / Expatica

0 Comments To This Article