Trial of 11 alleged pirates begins


09-January-2013

Dutch naval officers – some of whom were in court to give evidence when the case opened on Monday – also rescued 17 Pakistani and Iranian sailors who were allegedly held by the suspects on a dhow near Somalia after the rocket attack.

The grenade went through the wheelhouse of the dhow but did not explode, the court presided over by Supreme Court judge Mohan Burhan heard.

Charles Brown is leading the prosecution while John Renaud is defending the accused.

After the arrest, the Dutch Ministry of Defence said their warship, Van Amstel, came across the dhow when its helicopter carried out a reconnaissance flight in the area.

“The dhow was pulling two smaller skiffs carrying ladders behind it, but the suspected pirates threw them overboard once they noticed they were discovered,” it said in a statement.

"The Van Amstel headed to the location and made radio contact. The dhow then stopped."

"With the use of Rhibs, fast motorboats, a special boarding-unit consisting of marines made the ship safe under observation of the (Van Amstel helicopter) Lynx."

“The marines took 11 suspected pirates into custody and seized weapons, ammunition and other items which can be used in piracy.”

The suspected pirates were then transferred to the frigate and that Seychelles later agreed to prosecute the Somali pirates, noting that most pirates are eventually released as many countries cannot or do not want to prosecute them.

“In February, a similar operation carried out by the Absalon resulted in the deaths of two hostages while several others were rescued.

 But with none of the nearby countries willing to prosecute the pirates, the seventeen suspects involved in the incident were released in April.”

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