3 February 2013

Somalia: French Court Upholds Four Somali Pirate Convictions, Acquits One

A French appeals court Friday (February 1st) upheld prison sentences for four Somali men and acquitted a fifth convicted of seizing a French sailboat in the Gulf of Aden in 2008 and holding two people hostage, AFP reported.

A Paris court had previously sentenced the five men to prison terms between four and eight years, and acquitted a sixth defendant.

The group of pirates captured the sailboat in the Gulf of Aden in September 2008 and held its two passengers hostage on the boat for two weeks before a French navy commando freed them in a rescue operation that killed one pirate.

The pirates requested a $2 million ransom, which was never paid.

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