In Mumbai: 16 pirates sentenced to 7 years for hijacking vessel
The case refers to arrest of 16 pirates who had allegedly hijacked MV Morteza and held 18 members of the crew hostage.mumbai Updated: Aug 08, 2017 01:01 IST
The sessions court on Monday sentenced 16 more Somalian Pirates to seven years of imprisonment for hijacking a merchant vessel and kidnapping its members on the Indian waters.
This is the second of the four cases registered between January and March 2011, where pirates have been held guilty. The court is yet to decide on two more cases. The judgement for them is expected to come within this month.
Recently court had convicted 15 pirates in the first case.
The present case refers to arrest of 16 pirates who had allegedly hijacked MV Morteza and held 18 members of the crew hostage.
The master of the vessel told investigators that they had sailed from Chah Bahar in Iran, five months before they were rescued by the Indian Navy on March 26, 2011.
It was contended that Indian Navy ship INS Suvarna received an information about the attack on a merchant vessel, Maersk Kensington. The pirates attacked it from MV Morteza and two skiffs.
The Indian Navy launched an operation against Morteza and in the retaliation that ensued, the vessel was seriously damaged.
The pirates and the crew members of MV Morteza jumped off the vessel and were rescued by the Navy.
The master of the crew told investigators that some members had committed suicide after the pirates tortured them. One of the crew had also been shot dead.
Cases of murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping along with several other charges were recorded against the pirates.
Special public prosecutor Ranjeet Sangle had examined five witnesses in the presence of the officer of Navy and investigation officer of the local police station.
The court observed that the charges of murder and attempt to murder could not be proved as none of the crew members turned up as witness before it. The pirates have been convicted only for attacking the Indian Navy vessel.