3 February 2013

Somalia: Japanese Court Hands Pirates 10-Year Jail Sentences

The Tokyo District Court on Friday (February 1st) sentenced two Somali pirates to 10-year jail terms for attempting to hijack a Bahamas-flagged, Japan-operated oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden in March 2011, the Japan Times reported.

Mohamed Urgus Adeysey, 23, and Abdinur Hussein Ali, 38, both pleaded guilty to piracy charges. They are the first to be tried under Japan's anti-piracy law passed in 2009. The law allows convicted pirates to be sentenced to between five years and life in prison.

The two men were convicted of attempting to hijack the tanker and take its 24 crewmembers hostage. The crewmembers were able to prevent the hijacking by locking themselves in a safe cabin while they awaited rescue.

The US Navy captured Adeysey and Ali and two other suspects who are being tried separately.

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