31 December 2012

Somalia: Puntland Regional Court Convicts Three Pirates

A Bari regional court on Sunday (December 30th) sentenced three men found guilty of holding the recently liberated MV Iceberg 1 and its crew hostage for nearly three years, Somalia's Garowe Online reported.

Judge Sheikh Adam Ahmed Mohamed sentenced Sayyid Isse to three years in prison, and both Abdikafi Abdul Dirie and Abdihakim Mohamed Jama to ten years in prison. The three men were also issued fines.

Authorities are still searching for other pirates involved in the hijacking, who could face life sentences if they are convicted, Mohamed said.

Puntland's Maritime Police Force rescued 22 crewmembers of the MV Iceberg 1 on December 23rd, after three years in pirate custody.

Eight Yemeni hostages returned home on December 28th, The Yemen Times reported.

The attorney for the former captives Murad al-Zaydi said they would be seeking financial restitution. "We will submit a request to the owner of the ship so that he grants the sailors their financial rights," he said. "They suffered much over the course of three years."

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