Somali pirates could face prosecution

Seven Somali pirates captured by Malaysian forces in a raid to free a hijacked oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden could face prosecution in the Southeast Asian nation, authorities said Tuesday.
HT Image
HT Image
Updated on Jan 25, 2011 03:24 PM IST
Copy Link
AFP | By, Kuala Lumpur

Seven Somali pirates captured by Malaysian forces in a raid to free a hijacked oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden could face prosecution in the Southeast Asian nation, authorities said Tuesday.

Defence minister Zahid Hamidi told state media that the pirates were being held on board the rescued Malaysian tanker MT Bunga Laurel along with its crew of 23. The ship docked in Singapore and is now en route to Malaysia.

"Immediately upon arrival, they will be handed over to the Royal Malaysian Police for further action," he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

An aide to the minister confirmed his remarks to AFP Tuesday and said the vessel would arrive in Malaysia on January 31, but that it was still too early to determine how a prosecution would be carried out.

Media reports said the case was being studied by Malaysian legal authorities to determine how to deal with the seven, who were captured in the lawless region more than 7,000 kilometres (4,350 miles) from Malaysia.

The chemical tanker was headed to Singapore with a cargo of lubricating oil worth more than $10 million last Thursday when pirates armed with AK-47 assault rifles boarded and took control of the ship.

Malaysian naval commandos, who were manning a vessel protecting shipping in the area along with a navy attack helicopter, responded to the distress call and captured the pirates after a brief firefight.

A day after the Malaysian raid, the South Korean navy captured five Somali pirates during a mission to rescue a hijacked ship. Media reports from Seoul have said those bandits may be taken to South Korea to face trial.

Seoul has started legal reviews to try the five as African countries refuse to try them in their own courts, Yonhap news agency reported, citing an unnamed senior official.

Piracy has surged off lawless Somalia in recent years, and international warships patrol the area in a bid to clamp down on the problem.

But a UN study said Monday that nine out of 10 pirates caught at sea are freed almost straight away because there is nowhere to try them.

It called for a court to be set up under Somali jurisdiction but in a foreign country to help address the problem, while saying all countries should adopt legislation to handle pirates who committed acts outside their territory.

Last November, Germany's first piracy trial in 400 years opened with 10 Somalis facing charges of hijacking a Hamburg-registered ship in the same area.

In June 2010, a court in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam jailed five Somali pirates over an attack on a cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden, the first conviction of its kind in Europe.

Three Malaysian ships have previously been seized. The Malaysian International Shipping Corporation, which operates the MT Bunga Laurel, and the country's navy joined forces in 2009 to man a vessel used to escort and protect shipping in the area.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Bystanders look on as smoke rises from the central market of Sloviansk, north of Kramatosk.

    Ukrainian city of Sloviansk hit by 'massive shelling' by Russia: Mayor

    A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory in seizing an eastern Ukraine province essential to his wartime aims, a city in the path of Moscow's offensive came under sustained bombardment, its mayor said Tuesday. Mayor Vadim Lyakh said in a Facebook that “massive shelling” pummeled Sloviansk, which had a population of about 107,000 before Russian invaded Ukraine more than four months ago.

  • Abortion rights protesters chant during a Pro Choice rally at the Tucson Federal Courthouse in Tucson, Arizona.

    Mississippi judge to hear challenge to abortion law by state's only clinic

    A judge is holding a hearing Tuesday to consider a lawsuit filed by Mississippi's only abortion clinic, which is trying to remain open by blocking a law that would ban most abortions in the state. The Jackson Women's Health Organization sought a temporary restraining order that would allow it to remain open, at least while the lawsuit remains in court. It does not have an exception for pregnancies caused by incest.

  • There have been no regular routes between China and India since November 2020 and no flights have been notified yet between the two countries, it said.

    China resumes in'tl flights after 2 years, services to India still in limbo

    China has started permitting international flights after a two-year ban due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but there is no word yet on the resumption of air services to India even after Beijing lifted a visa ban for Indian professionals and their families last month. China is also processing the list of hundreds of Indian students wanting to return to the country to re-join their colleges. Beijing is reportedly reviewing the Indian student lists.

  • Cargo containers stacked at a port in Lianyungang in China’s eastern Jiangsu province. (AFP)

    China says talks with US Treasury chief Yellen constructive, pragmatic

    Chinese vice-premier Liu He had a “constructive” dialogue with US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday with both sides agreeing to strengthen “macro-policy communication” and coordination, according to a statement from China. Liu expressed concern over the additional tariffs that the US had imposed on Chinese goods during the video conversation, the official Chinese statement, released by state news agency Xinhua said. The exchange was “pragmatic and frank”, the Chinese statement said.

  • The DMA will have major consequences for Google, Meta and Apple.

    European Parliament overwhelmingly ratifies landmark tech laws

    The European Parliament on Tuesday ratified landmark laws that will more closely regulate Big Tech and curb illegal content online, as the EU seeks to bring order to the internet "Wild West". "With the legislative package, the European Parliament has ushered in a new era of tech regulation," said a key backer of the laws, German MEP Andreas Schwab.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, July 05, 2022