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April 16, 2009

Pirate suspects sue Germany

Two suspected pirates detained by German naval forces off the coast of Somalia on March 3 and later turned over to Kenya for prosecution, are now suing the German Government.

DER SPIEGEL reported yesterday that, in two separate cases filed in two Berlin courts, lawyers representing two of the suspects are arguing that the German government is responsible for ensuring that they receive a fair trial. The lawyers are also demanding they be provided with support from the German Embassy in Kenya.

The lawyers claim that during a recent visit to Kenya, they were provided with only minimal support by the German embassy and that Kenyan authorities refused to provide them with access to their clients or court documents pertaining to the case.

DER SPIEGEL notes that Kenyan justice officials are criticizing German officials for sinking all of the suspected pirates' weapons after capturing them, thereby destroying evidence.

DER SPIEGEL cites a German diplomat as saying that commotion over the case could considerably dampen Kenya's willingness to detain and prosecute pirate suspects.


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