About four weeks after they allegedly attacked MV Samanyulo within the notorious Gulf of Aden, the Dutch Prosecution Office has announced that the five suspected Somali pirates have been flown to the Netherlands to stand trial for having allegedly taken part in an act of piracy.
The attack on the freighter took place on 2 January and was successfully defended by the freighter’s crew, using signal flares. A Dutch naval ship later arrived and took the pirates into custody.
According to the Dutch Prosecutor’s office the five men will be arraigned before a Rotterdam district court. This is believed to be the first time that Somali pirates will appear in a court outside of Africa or the region and face charges of piracy. On an earlier occasion another group of pirates was taken to Mombassa to stand trial in a Kenyan court, where they were found guilty and imprisoned.
Meanwhile Kenyan authorities have confirmed that the Ukrainian Ro-Ro ship FAINA, which has been released after being held for ransom for more than four months by Somali pirates, is expected to arrive in the port of Mombassa tomorrow. The ship which is carrying a cargo of 33 T-72 Russian-made tanks and other arms and ammunition, is being escorted by the US Navy. Kenyan authorities said the Faina would be discharged in Mombassa and the cargo taken to a military base in Kenya.
The true destination of the weapons on board the ship has been in dispute ever since the vessel was captured, with Kenya saying they were for the Kenyan military. Other sources however, including the United States, maintain the weapons are intended for South Sudan, which neighbors Kenya.