Dutch court jails five Somali pirates for five years

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A Dutch court on Thursday sentenced five Somali pirates, the first to stand trial in Europe, to five years in prison for attacking a Dutch Antilles-flagged ship in 2009.

"The court sentences the defendants to a prison sentence of five years," said court president Jan Willem Klein Wolterink.

The five men aged between 25 and 45 all pleaded not guilty on the first day of their trial in Rotterdam in the west of the Netherlands on May 25.

They told the court they were simple fishermen who were attacked as they sought help from the Turkish ship, the Samanyolu, after developing engine trouble and running out of food and water at sea.

But prosecutors said they were arrested after attacking the ship with automatic weapons and rockets on January 2, 2009.

© 2010 AFP

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