Somali Pirates On Trial In French Court


Somali pirates on trial in Paris for 2011 hijacking of yacht in Gulf of Aden.


Seven Somali men have gone before a court in Paris, accused of hijacking a French yacht in an assault.  In that incident the owner of the yacht Christian Colombo was killed and his wife got abducted in the Arabian Sea four years ago.

The French court on Tuesday, ordered that all the pirates will face life sentence.  “The men have not been charged with homicide, but with hijacking – a crime punishable with life imprisonment – as well as theft, abduction and illegal confinement” said, Martin Pradel, the lawyer of one of the suspected attackers.

The Colombos had sold everything to make their dream voyage around the world.  They left the Yemen port of Aden in early September 2011 and were heading for Oman — a journey that took them through notoriously pirate-infested waters — when naval authorities received a distress signal from their “Tribal Kat” catamaran.  A German frigate found the boat several hours later.  There were bullet holes in the deck and a pair of glasses lying in a pool of blood.  No one was onboard.

His wife was abducted for two days in what French media described as horrendous conditions before being rescued by Spanish naval forces in a raid on a skiff off the coast of Yemen.  The seven suspects were captured during the raid.

Evelyne Colombo told her rescuers that the assailants had dumped her husband’s body in the sea after he was killed.

Source: Reuters


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