Kenya jails 11 Somali pirates - EU Navfor

by Reuters
Thursday, 30 September 2010 08:24 GMT

NAIROBI, Sept 30 (Reuters) - A Kenyan court in the port town of Mombasa jailed 11 Somali men for five years each for trying to hijack a Liberian-flagged ship last year, the European Naval force said on Thursday.

The 11 were charged in relation to the attack on the MV Safmarine Asia in April 2009. An EU Navfor patrol ship thwarted the attack and seized the men, who were then handed to Kenya.

"EU Navfor welcomes the third judgment, which was delivered on September 29," it said in a statement.

Last week seven pirates were convicted and given five years in prison for hijacking a Spanish ship in 2009. [ID:nLDE68M1UT]

Pirate attacks on the Indian Ocean off Somalia's coast have made the shipping lanes linking Europe with Africa and Asia the most dangerous in the world, increasing the costs of seaborne global trade.

Prosecution of captured pirates has been hampered by disagreements over which country should try them. Somalia itself lacks the legal infrastructure to hold trials.

EU Navfor said to date it had transferred 92 individuals to Kenya for prosecution.

In the latest transfer on Wednesday, it handed over four men, seized for hijacking a dhow with nine Kenyan fishermen and a Somali translator.

Kenya is worried it will be lumbered with pirates released after serving sentences or those acquitted by local courts, and has warned of security concerns. (Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by Matthew Jones)

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