Seychelles sentences Somali pirates to ten years in prison

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Location of Seychelles.

The Republic of Seychelles has convicted eight men of piracy and three others for aiding and abetting piracy. All eleven men each received a ten year sentence in jail. Four of the convicted were under eighteen years of age.

The office of President James Michel states this ruling is in response to a hijack attempt on a Seychelles coast guard ship.

This ruling by Seychelles' Supreme Court in Victoria is the first time the state has convicted Somali pirates.

Seychelles set up a court for the sole purpose of trying Somali pirates earlier this year, in response to hijackings of ships in Seychellois waters.

A Seychellois government statement said that "[t]heir conviction is a historical milestone as it is the first time that a piracy trial is successfully prosecuted in the Seychelles."

Pirates attacked ships more than 200 times in 2009, including 68 hijackings, and made around US$50 million (38.5 million) in ransoms.

Seychelles and Kenya are the only African countries on the coast of the Indian Ocean with signed agreements with the European Union to prosecute Somali pirates.