Somali pirates hear ten year prison sentence
The Public Prosecution demanded up to ten years in prison before the Rotterdam court, for four Somali pirates who lured the Dutch Marine into an ambush last year in October.The marines were fired upon at close range, when they tried to check a ship along the coast of Somalia, during a mission against piracy. 'A group of marine literally became sitting ducks in three small, open boats,' concluded the prosecutors of the National Prosecution Authority.
The marines were on their way to an Iranian fishing boat in three aid vessels (RHIB's) of the Hr. Ms. Rotterdam, when suddenly they came under fire. The fishing boat had been captured by pirates. The marines returned fire, and the Rotterdam opened fire as well. The firefight caused the ceased fishing boat to catch on fire, resulting in the crew abandoning ship.
The commander of the Rotterdam sent the RHIB's back to the burning ship to rescue people from the water, when they came under fire again, that time from the ship and from the shore. The marines still managed to retrieve 25 people from the water.
The four suspects who were tried on Wednesday were among those 25. They are being sued for piracy and attempted murder. 'The defendants prepared a cowardly ambush and did not hesitate to use the ship's crew as a living shield. The defendants proved with their actions to have no respect for someone else's life,' concluded the prosecutors during the session.
The National Prosecution Authority demanded ten years against the suspect who fulfilled a leading role and who was extremely violent in his behavior toward the crew of the ceased ship. Two other suspects both heard eight years. The fourth one heard six years, because his file showed he had only been on the ceased ship for a short time, but he did partake in the shooting of the Dutch marines.